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.  THfi 







CHAPMAN    AND    HALL,    186,    STRAND. 



THE  high  merits  and  distinguished  character  of  the 
original  German  work  by  Professor  Kohlrausch,  of  which 
this  is  a  translation,  have  long  been  acknowledged.  A  work 
which  during  a  period  of  thirty  years  has  enjoyed  so  much 
popularity  as  to  have  gone  through  several  editions,  em- 
bracing a  circulation  of  many  thousands  of  copies ;  a  pro- 
duction which  has  extended  and  established  its  good  repute, 
even  in  its  original  form,  far  beyond  its  native  clime,  to 
England,  France,  Belgium,  Italy,  America,  &c.  (in  several  of 
which  countries  it  has  been  reprinted  in  German),  and  has 
thus  become  a  standard  book  of  reference  in  almost  all  the 
universities  and  principal  public,  as  well  as  private  edu- 
cational institutions — such  a  publication  possesses  ample 
testimony  proving  it  able  to  create  a  lasting  interest,  and 
confirming  its  claims  to  consideration  and  esteem. 

The  aim  of  the  distinguished  author  in  this  valuable 
history  is  thus  simply  but  distinctly  expressed  by  him- 
self: "  My  sole  object,"  he  says,  "  has  been  to  produce  a 
succinct  and  connected  development  of  the  vivid  and 
eventful  course  of  our  country's  history,  written  in  a  style 
calculated  to  excite  the  interest  and  sympathy  of  my 
readers,  and  of  such  especially  who,  not  seeking  to  enter 
upon  a  very  profound  study  of  the  sources  and  more  ela- 
borate works  connected  with  the  annals  of  our  empire,  are 
nevertheless  anxious  to  have  presented  to  them  the  means 
of  acquiring  an  accurate  knowledge  of  the  records  of  our 
Fatherland,  in  such  a  form  as  to  leave  upon  the  mind  and 
heart  an  enduring,  indelible  impression.'' 



That  our  industrious  historian  has  attained  his  object, 
the  intelligent  reader  will  find  in  the  interest  excited,  the 
clear  views  imparted,  and  the  deep  impression  effected  by 
his  animated  portrayals  of  both  events  and  individuals. 
This  has  been  the  original  and  acknowledged  characteris- 
tic of  Herr  Kohlrausch's  work  throughout  its  entire  ex- 
istence ;  but  in  the  new  edition  from  which  this  translation 
has  been  rendered,  he  has  endeavoured  to  make  it  as 
perfect  as  possible,  both  in  matter  and  style,  and  besides 
this  has  enriched  it  with  many  valuable  notes  not  con- 
tained in  the  former  editions;  thus  making  it  in  reality 
a  concise,  yet,  in  every  respect,  a  complete  history  of  Ger- 

It  is  important  to  remark,  that  Professor  Kohlrausch  is 
a  Protestant,  and  one  distinguished  not  less  for  his  freedom 
from  prejudice  and  partiality,  than  for  the  comprehensive- 
ness of  his  views  and  the  high  tone  of  his  philosophy.  The 
general  adoption  of  the  work — alike  by  Protestant  and  Eo- 
manist — is  proof  sufficiently  convincing  of  the  impartiality 
of  his  statements,  and  of  the  justice  of  his  reflections  and 


London,  1844. 





The  Sources  of  the  most  ancient  German  History — The  Nature  of  the  Country 
— The  Natives — The  Germanic  Races — Manners  and  Customs— Civil  Insti- 
tutions—War— Regulations  ,  and  Arms— Religion— Arts  and  Manufactures 
— The  Germanic  Tribes 1-41 



486  A.D. 


B.C.  113 — 6  A.D. 

The  Cimbri  and  Teutoni,  113-101  B.C. — Caesar  and  Ariovistus,  58  B.C. — Julius 
Cassar  on  the  Rhine — Commencement  of  the  Great  German  Wars — Drusus  in 
Germany — Marbodius,  King  of  the  Marcomanni  42-58 



Arminius  or  Hermann — Arminius  and  Varus  — Arminius  and  Germanicus — 
The  Death  of  Arminius,  21  A.D. — Further  Wars  between  the  Germans  and 
Romans — War  with  the  Marcomanni,  167-180— The  Germanic  Confederations 
—The  Alemanni— The  Franks — The  Saxon  Confederation — The  Goths — 
The  Decline  of  the  Roman  Empire  58-78 



The  Hunns— Commencement  of  the  Great  Migration,  375— Irruption  of  the 
Western  Goths,  Vandals,  Suevi,  Burgundians,  and  other  Tribes  into  the 
Western  Roman  Empire — Alaric — Attila,  God's  Scourge,  451 — The  Fall  of 
the  Roman  Empire  in  the  West,  476  79-92 



Clovis,  King  of  the  Franks,  482-511— Theodoric,  surnamed  Dieterich  of  Berne, 
488-526 — The  Longobardi  in  Italy,  568 — Changes  in  the  Customs  and  Insti- 
tutions of  the  Germans— The  Language— Constitution — Feudal  System — 
Laws — Pastimes — Christianity  in  Germany — The  Grand  Chamberlains — 
Charles  Martel  against  the  Arabs,  732— Pepin  the  Little— The  Carlo- 

vingians  94-111 







Charlemagne,  768-814— The  State  in  which  Charlemagne  found  the  Empire — 
The  East-Roman,  or  Grecian  Empire — England— The  North  of  Europe— The 
Spanish  Peninsula — Italy — Austria  and  Hungary — Germany — The  Wars  of 
Charlemagne — The  Saxons — The  Longobardi — The  Arabs — The  Bavarians 
— The  Empire  of  Charlemagne— Charlemagne,  Emperor  of  Rome,  800 — The 
Death  of  Charlemagne,  814 — His  Portraiture 113-137 



Louis  the  Pious,  814-840 — Division  of  the  Empire  among  his  Sons,  Louis, 
Lothaire,  and  Charles  the  Bald,  843 — The  German  Sovereigns  of  the  Race  of 
the  Carlovingians,  843-911 — Louis,  or  Ludwig,  the  German — Charles  the  Fat 
— Arnulf — Louis  the  Child — The  later  and  concluding  Period  of  the  Carlo- 
vingians—Conrad  I.,  of  Franconia,  911-918 138-151 




Henry  I.,  919-936 — His  Wars — The  Hungarians — The  Sclavonians — New  Insti- 
tutions—Otho  I.,  936-973— The  Hungarians— Battle  of  the  Lechfeld— The 
Western  Empire  renewed,  962— Greece— Otho  II.,  973-983— Otho  HI.,  983- 
1003 — His  Religious  Devotion— His  Partiality  for  Roman  and  Grecian  Man- 
ners and  Customs — Henry  H.,  1003-1024 — Italy — Pavia — Bamburg — His 
Death,  1024— End  of  the  Saxon  Dynasty  155-185 



Assemblage  of  the  Ducal  States— The  Election— Conrad  H.,  1024-1039— 
Re-establishes  Internal  Peace — Italy — Canute,  King  of  England  and  Den- 
mark—Burgundy— Ernest,  Duke  of  Swabia — The  Faust-Recht — Conrad's 
Death,  1039— Henry  HI.,  1039-1056— The  Popes— Henry's  Zeal  for  the 
Church— His  Death,  1056— Henry  IV.,  1056,  1106— His  Minority— The 
Archbishops — Albert  of  Bremen — Henry  and  the  Saxons — Their  Hostility — 
Henry's  Revenge— Pope  Gregory  VII. — His  Ambition — The  Right  of  In- 
vestiture— Rupture  with  the  Emperor — Henry  Excommunicated — The  Em- 
peror a  Fugitive — The  Rival  Emperors  and  Popes — Rudolphus  of  Swabia 
and  Pope  Clement  III.— Henry's  Death,  1106— Henry  V.,  1106-1125— Rome 
— Pope  Pascal  II. — The  Investiture  Contest — Sanguinary  Battle — Henry 
Crowned  Emperor— His  Death,  1125— The  First  Crusade,  1096-1099— Lo- 
thaire the  Saxon,  1125-1137  185-216 



Conrad  HI.,  1138-1152— The  Guelphsand  Ghibelines— Weinsberg— The  Faith- 
ful Wives— Conrad's  Crusade— Disastrous  ResultSr-His  Death,  1152— Fre- 
derick I.,  or  Barbarossa,  1152-1190— His  Noble  Character  and  Distinguished 
Qualities— Extends  his  Dominions— The  Cities  of  Lombardy  and  Milan— 
Pavia— Pope  Adrian  IV.— The  Emperor's  Homage— Otho  of  Wittelsbach— 
Dispute  between  the  Pope  and  the  Emperor— Milan  Taken  and  Razed— The 
Confederation  of  the  Lombardian  Towns— The  Battle  of  Lignano— Frederick 
Defeated— Pope  Alexander  and  Frederick— Venice— Henry,  the  Lion  of 
Brunswick— His  Rise  and  Fall— Reconciliation  and  Peace— Lombardy— 
Frederick's  Crusade  and  Death  in  Palestine,  1190 , 216-233 




FROM  1190  TO  THE   INTERREGNUM,  1273. 

Henry  VI.,  1190-1197 — His  Mercenary  and  Cruel  Character — Richard  I.  of 
England — Is  Seized  and  Imprisoned  by  Henry — Naples  and  Sicily — The 
Grandees — Their  Barbarous  Treatment  by  the  Emperor — His  Death,  1197 — 
The  Rival  Sovereigns— Phillip  of  Swabia,  1197-1208,  and  Otho  IV.,  1197- 
1215 — Their  Death— Frederick  IL,  1215-1250 — His  Noble  Qualities— Love 
for  the  Arts  and  Sciences— His  Sarcastic  Poetry— Preference  for  Italy — Dis- 
putes with  the  Popes — Is  Excommunicated — His  Crusade  to  the  Holy  Land 
— Crowned  King  of  Jerusalem — Marries  a  Princess  of  England — Italy — 
Pope  Gregory  IX. — Frederick  Denounced  and  Deposed — Dissensions  in  Ger- 
many— The  Rival  Kings — Death  of  Frederick  II.,  1250 — His  extraordinary 
Genius  and  Talents — His  Zeal  for  Science  and  Education— A  Glance  at  the 
East  and  North-Eastern  Parts  of  Germany — Progress  in  Civilisation — 
William  of  Holland,  1247-1256— Conrad  IV.,  1250-1254— Their  Death— 
The  Interregnum,  1256-1273— Progress  of  the  Germanic  Constitution  ...  234-252 



Chivalry — The  Cities — The  Peasantry — The  Arts  and  Sciences — The  Clergy 
and  Ecclesiastical  Institutions — The  Monasteries  and  Convents — The  Faust- 
Recht  —  The  Administration  of  Justice  —  The  Vehm-Gericht,  or  Secret 
Tribunal  253-285 




Rudolphus  I.,  of  Hapsburg,  1273-1291— Adolphus  I.,  of  Nassau,  1292-1298— 
Albert  I.,  of  Austria,  1298-1308 — Switzerland — Confederation  of  the  Swiss 
— Gessler— William  Tell— Henry  VII.,  of  Luxemburg,  1308-1313— Frederick 
of  Austria,  1314-1330,  and  Lewis  of  Bavaria,  1314-1347— Switzerland— The 
Battle  of  Morgarten,  1315 — The  Battle  of  Muhldorf,  1322— The  First  Elec- 
toral Alliance,  1338— Death  of  Lewis,  1347  288-304 




Charles  IV.,  1347-1378— Wenceslas,  1378-1400— Switzerland— The  Battle  of 
Sempach,  1386— Leopold  of  Austria — Arnold  of  Winkelried — His  Heroism 
and  Self-devotion — Wenceslas  Deposed — Rupert  of  the  Palatinate,  1400- 
1410— Sigismund,  1410-1437 — Grand  Council  of  Constance — John  Huss, 
and  the  Hussite  Wars— Death  of  Sigismund,  1437  305-320 


THE     HOUSE     OF     AUSTRIA. 

Albert  H..  1438-1439— His  Death— Frederick  IH.,  1440-1493— The  Council  of 
Basle,  1448— ./Eneas  Sylvius — The  Turks— Belgrade— Defeat  of  the  Turks 
— The  Diets — The  Emperor  besieged  in  Vienna — His  Resolution — His  Bro- 
ther, Duke  Albert— The  Count  Palatine  of  the  Rhine— His  Hostility- 
Defeats  the  Imperialists— Albert  of  Brandenburg,  the  Achilles  of  Germany 
—Feuds  of  the  Nobles  and  Cities — Nuremberg — The  Nobles  Defeated — 
Austria  and  Burgundy— Charles  the  Rash — His  Ambition — Attacks  the 
Swiss— Defeated  at  Murten— The  Battle  of  Nancy— His  Death— Mary  of 



Burgundy — Marries  Maximilian  of  Austria— Her  Death — The  Emperor 
Frederick  a  Fugitive — His  Return — Maximilian,  Roman  King — The  Laws 
— Their  Improvement — Frederick's  Obstinacy  and  Refusal — Maximilian  Ap- 
pealed to — The  Swabian  League — Death  of  Frederick  III.,  1493 — Prussia — 
The  Teutonic  Knights — Their  Decline  and  Fall — Prussia  under  Polish 
Sway,  1466 321—323 


Maximilian  I.,  1493-1519 — His  Mental  Acquirements  and  Chivalric  Character — 
His  Government — Italy — Charles  VIII.  and  Louis  XII.  of  France — Switzer- 
land— The  Venetian  Republic — The  League  of  Cambray — Maximilian's  Ho- 
nourable and  Consistent  Conduct — The  Battle  of  the  Spurs  — Union  of  Hun- 
gary and  Bohemia — Internal  Administration  of  Affairs — Perpetual  Peace  of 
the  Land — End  of  the  Faust-Recht — The  Imperial  Chamber  and  Aulic 
Council — Opposition  of  the  States— The  Emperor  Triumphant— State  of  the 
Country — The  Nobles,  Cities,  and  Peasantry — Gotz  von  Berlichingen,  &c. — 
Death  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian,  1519 — Events  of  his  Reign,  and  End  of 
the  Middle  Ages — Discovery  and  Use  of  Gunpowder — Artillery  and  Fire- 
Arms — Invention  of  Printing,  1457 332-350 


FROM  CHARLES   V.   TO  THE   PEACE   OF  WESTPHALIA,    1520-1648. 

State  of  the  Empire— Internal  Anarchy — Charles  V.  of  Spain,  and  Francis  I.  of 
France— Frederick  the  Wise,  Elector  of  Saxony — Charles  V.  elected  Emperor 
of  Germany— His  Character— Jealousy  and  Discontent  of  the  Spaniards— 
Try  to  dissuade  Charles  from  accepting  the  Imperial  Crown — New  Spain — 
Discovery  of  Mexico — Arrival  of  Charles  in  Germany — His  Coronation,  1520 
— Schism  in  the  Church— Causes   which  produced  it— Ignorance  of  the\ 
Clergy — Their  Vices — Murmurs  and  Discontent  of  the  People — A  Reforma-  ) 
tion  in  the  Church  universally  demanded — Scholastic  Wisdom — Theology—/ 
Enlightenment  of  Science — John  ReuchHn 354-362 


Outbreak  of  the  Reformation,  1517 — Abuses  in  the  Church — Letters  of  Indul- 
gence— Martin  Luther,  the  Reformer — His  Exposure  and  Condemnation  of 
these  Proceedings — Is  summoned  to  appear  in  Rome — Withheld  from  going 
by  the  Elector  of  Saxony— The  Pope's  Nuncio,  Cardinal  Cajetan  and  Luther  at 
the  Diet  of  Augsburg,  15 18— Refusal  of  Luther  to  retract— Luther's  Appeal  to 
the  Pope  for  a  fair  Hearing— Controversial  Discussion  between  Luther  and 
Dr.  Eck — Luther  maintains  his  Ground — The  Pope's  Bull  against  Luther — 
The  Reformer  burns  the  Bull,  with  the  Canon  Law  and  Eck's  Writings- 
Propagation  of  the  New  Doctrine — Luther  addresses  the  People — Ulric  of 
Hutten,  and  Francis  of  Sickingen— Frederick  the  Wise  of  Saxony  and  the 
Princes  in  favour  of  Reform — The  Grand  Diet  at  Worms,  1521 — Charles  V. 
— The  Pope's  Legate,  Cardinal  Alexander — Luther's  Appearance  and  Exami- 
nation there — Solemn  Refusal  not  to  retract— The  Emperor's  Declaration — 
Luther  Excommunicated  and  his  Writings  burnt— Conveyed  by  the  Elector 
of  Saxony  for  Safety  to  the  Castle  of  Wartburg— His  Translation  of  the  New 
Testament— Tumults  and  Revolutions  of  the  Peasantry— Miinzer  the  Fanatic 
—Battle  of  Frankenhausen— Miinzer's  Death— Tranquillity  Restored....  363-377 


Foreign  Relations  of  Charles  V.— Francis  I.  of  France— War  between  these  two 
rival  Monarchs -Italy— Milan— The  Duke  of  Bourbon— The  Chevalier 
Bayard— The  Battle  of  Pavia,  1525— Defeat  of  the  French— Francis  I.  taken 
Prisoner— Madrid— The  King  of  France  liberated— His  dishonourable  Breach 
of  Stipulation— The  Imperialists  in  Rome— The  Pope  a  Prisoner— His  Ran- 
som—War  with  France  resumed— Andrew  Doria— Peace  of  Cambray,  1529 



— Charles  V.  crowned  Emperor  and  King  of  Lombardy  in  Bologna— His  Ge- 
nerosity— Keturn  to  Germany — First  League  of  the  Protestant  Princes,  1526 
— The  Augsburg  Confession,  1530 — Melancthon— His  Character  of  Charles 
V. — John,  Elector  of  Saxony — His  Determination — The  Imperial  Council — 
The  Emperor's  Declaration— Reply  of  the  Protestant  Princes — Ferdinand, 
King  of  Rome,  1531 — Religious  Peace — The  Turks  in  Hungary— Their 
Defeat — Ulric,  Duke  of  Wurtemberg — Restored  to  his  Possessions  by  Philip 
of  Hesse— Insurrection  of  the  Anabaptists — Their  Defeat— The  Emperor  in 
Africa — Tunis  —His  Triumph  and  Liberation  of  22,000  Christian  Slaves — 
Francis  I.  attacks  Italy — Charles  V.  enters  France — Suspension  of  Arms- 
Interview  between  the  two  Monarchs  at  Aigues-Martes — Revolt  in  Ghent — 
Progress  of  Charles  V.  through  France  and  Ghent — Hospitality  received — 
Peace  restored  in  Ghent — The  Diet  at  Ratisbon,  1541 — Charles  V.  in  Al- 
giers— Disastrous  Expedition — His  Fortitude — Return  to  Italy — Francis  I. 
resumes  Hostilities — His  Ill-success— Charles  V.  on  the  Rhine — Attacks  the 
Duke  of  Cleves — Overcomes  and  Pardons  him — Marches  into  France — Ad- 
vance upon  Paris — The  Peace  ofCrepi,  1544 378-397 


State  of  Religious  Affairs  in  Germany,  from  1534  to  1546— Vain  Attempts  at 
Reconciliation — Rapid  Propagation  of  the  New  Doctrine — Henry,  Duke  of 
BrunsAvick — Death  of  Martin  Luther,  1546 — Charles  V.  and  the  Pope — Their 
Alliance— Preparations  for  War — The  League  of  Schmalkald — The  Elector 
of  Saxony  and  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse — Their  Characters  contrasted — 
Maurice,  Duke  of  Saxony — His  extraordinary  Genius — His  Adherence  to 
the  Emperor — The  Pope's  Bull — The  Holy  War — The  Schmalkaldian  Army, 
1546-1547 — General  Schartlin — Division  among  the  Protestant  Leaders — 
Inglorious  Results — The  Imperial  Camp  besieged — Charles  triumphant — 
Duke  Maurice  and  the  Elector  of  Saxony — Treachery  of  Duke  Maurice — 
The  Emperor  in  Upper  Germany — Conquers  the  Imperial  Free  Cities — 
Saxony— The  Battle  of  Muhlberg— The  Saxons  cefeated— The  Elector  taken 
Prisoner — Deposed  and  condemned  to  Death — The  Game  of  Chess — The 
Elector's  Firmness  and  Resignation — His  Life  spared — Duke  Maurice  made 
Elector  of  Saxony — Wittenberg — Charles  V.  and  Philip  of  Hesse — The  Land- 
grave's Submission  and  Humiliation — Detained  a  Prisoner,  and  his  Lands 
seized  by  the  Emperor — The  Elector  Maurice — His  Mortification  and  Projects 
against  the  Emperor— The  Spanish  Troops  in  Germany — Their  Insolence  and 
Oppression 397-421 


The  Council  of  Trent — Rupture  between  the  Emperor  and  the  Pope — The 
Interim  or  Temporary  Code  of  Doctrines— Its  Condemnation  by  both  Parties 
— The  Captive  Elector  of  Saxony — Refuses  to  adhere  to  the  Interim — His 
Declaration — Shameful  Treatment  in  consequence — The  Elector  Maurice — 
Magdeburg — Maurice  marches  against  that  City — The  Emperor  and  Maurice 
— Maurice  deserts  the  Emperor,  and  with  Albert  of  Brandenburg  joins  the 
Protestants — Their  Declaration  against  the  Emperor — His  Reply — Albert's 
Depredations — Maurice's  Separation  from  him — Charles  V.  at  Inspruck — Pur- 
sued, by  Maurice — The  Emperor  a  Fugitive  in  the  Mountains  of  the  Tyrol — His 
Desolate  and  Forlorn  Condition — His  Return  to  Augsburg — Release  of  the 
Elector  John  Frederick — His  Welcome  Home — Jena — Treaty  of  Passau — 
Liberation  of  Philip  of  Hesse — Charles  V.  in  France — Metz— Unsuccessful 
Campaign — Albert  of  Brandenburg — Defeated  at  Liineburg  by  Maurice— 
Death  of  Maurice  and  Albert — Religious  Peace  of  Augsburg — Final  Sepa- 
ration of  the  Two  Religious  Parties — Abdication  of  Charles  V. — Retreat  to  a 
Hermit's  Cell — Rehearsal  of  his  Funeral  Procession— His  Death,  1558...  422-437 


Ferdinand  I.,  1556-1564 — His  industrious  Habits — Moderation  and  Tolerance — 
The  Calvinists  and  Lutherans— Their  Hostility  towards  each  other — Ferdi- 
nand and  Protestantism — The  Foundation  of  the  Order  of  Jesuits  by  Igna- 
tius Loyola,  1540— Its  rapid  and  universal  Dissemination — The  Council  of 



Trent— Ferdinand's  Ambassadors— Their  Propositions  refused— Their  Letter 
to  the  Emperor — Death  of  Ferdinand  I.,  1564— Maximilian  II.,  1564-1576 — 
His  Qualifications  and  Good  Character— Bohemia — Poland — State  of  Tran- 
quillity— William  of  Grumbach  in  Franconia— His  Revolt  and  Excommuni- 
cation— Gotha—  The  Young  Prince  of  Saxony — Joins  Grumbach — His  per- 
petual Captivity  and  Death  in  Styria— Grumbach's  Execution — The  mer- 
cenary Troops — Evils  they  produce — German  Soldiers  in  Foreign  Service — 
Death  of  Maximilian  II.,  1576— Rudolphus  H.,  1576-1612— His  Indolence 
and  Irresolution — Bad  Councillors — Religious  Excitement  renewed — The 
Netherlands— The  Duke  of  Alba— The  Elector  Gebhard  of  Cologne  and 
Agnes  of  Mansfeld,  Canoness  of  Gerresheim — Gebhard  excommunicated — 
John  Casimir,  the  Count  Palatine — Calvinism — Donauwerth — Austria — Ru- 
dolphus against  the  Protestants — Deprives  them  of  their  Churches— Hungary 
— Revolt  of  Stephen  Botschkai — The  Emperor  an  Astrologist  and  Alchymist 
—Neglects  his  Government  more  and  more — Tycho  Brahe  and  Keppler — 
Rudolphus  resigns  Hungary  to  his  Brother  Matthias — Bohemia — The  Letter 
of  Majesty — The  Palatinate — The  Evangelical  Union— Juliers — Henry  IV. 
of  France  joins  the  Union — The  Catholic  League — Prague — Revolt — The 
Emperor  a  Prisoner — His  Death,  1612 437-450 


Matthias  L,  1612-1619 — His  Coronation — Its  Pomp  and  Splendour  deceptive — 
The  Protestants — Increase  of  general  Discontent — Austria — Aix-la-Chapelle 
— Cologne— The  Prince  Palatine  Wolfgang  William,  and  the  Elector  of 
Brandenburg— Their  Quarrel — Box  on  the  Ear — Baneful  Consequences — 
Foreign  Allies — The  Young  Archduke  Ferdinand — Elected  King  of  Bohemia 
— His  Character— His  Devotion  to  Catholicism  and  Hatred  of  the  Protestants 
— Banishes  the  New  Faith  from  his  Lands — The  Electoral  Princes  —Ferdinand 
warned  against  his  Proceedings  by  the  Elector  of  Saxony — Bohemia — The 
Letter  of  Majesty  shamefully  infringed — The  Protestant  Churches  destroyed 
— Indignation  and  Revolt  of  the  Protestants — Their  Defender,  Count  Mat- 
thias, of  Thurn — Counts  Martinitz  and  Slavata — Their  Hostility  to  the  Pro- 
testants— Prague — The  Council  Hall — Martinitz  and  Slavata  thrown  out  of 
the  Window — General  Revolution — The  Emperor's  Alarm  and  Desire  for 
Peace — Ferdinand's  Declaration  in  reply — Commencement  of  the  Thirty 
Years'  War — Count  Ernest  of  Mansfeld,  the  Leader  of  the  Protestants — His 
great  military  Genius  and  heroic  Character — Death  of  Matthias  L,  1619 — 
Ferdinand  H.,  1619-1637— Count  Thurn  and  the  Bohemians  in  Vienna — 
Surround  the  Emperor  in  his  Palace — Ferdinand  unexpectedly  rescued — The 
Bohemians  depose  him— The  Elector  Palatine,  Frederick  V.,  Son-in-Law  of 
James  L  of  England,  King  of  Bohemia,  1619 — His  Irresolution  and  Pusilla- 
nimity— Ferdinand  and  Maximilian  of  Bavaria — Their  Alliance — Superiority 
of  the  Imperialists  over  the  Bohemians— Battle  of  Weissenberg,  near  Prague, 
1620— The  Bohemians  defeated  and  their  King  put  to  Flight—His  Abdi- 
cation—Prague capitulates — Bohemia  severely  punished  by  Ferdinand — 
Thirty  thousand  Families  banished  the  Country  451-464 


Military  Expeditions  in  Germany,  1621-1624 — Generals  Mansfeld  and  Tilly — 
Successes  of  Mansfeld — Joined  by  the  Margrave  of  Baden — Durlach  and 
Christian— Duke  of  Brunswick— Tilly— The  Palatinate— The  Heidelberg 
Library — Ferdinand  resolves  to  continue  the  War — The  Duke  of  Bavaria 
made  Elector  Palatine— Tilly  defeats  the  Duke  of  Brunswick  in  Minister — 
War  with  Denmark,  1624-1629— The  Protestant  Forces  under  Christian  IV. 
of  Denmark — The  Duke  of  Brunswick  and  Mansfeld — The  Emperor  without 
a  Leader — Count  Wallenstein — His  extraordinary  Character — Ambition — 
Astrological  Studies— Faith  in  Destiny — His  Bravery— Weissenberg— Wal- 
lenstein, Duke  [of  Friedland— His  stately  Palace  and  regal  Style  of  living — 
Raises  an  Imperial  Army — His  Appearance— Pursues  Mansfeld — Death  of 
Mansfeld,  1626— Death  of  the  Duke  of  Brunswick— Christian  IV.  of  Denmark 
— His  Flight— Dukes  Adolphus  and  John  of  Mecklenburg  banished— Their 
Estates  seized  by  Walleustein— Created  Duke  of  Mecklenburg  and  a  Prince 



of  the  Empire,  1628 — Pomerania — Stralsund — Besieged  by  Wallenstein — Its 
brave  Resistance — Forces  Wallenstein  to  retire — Peace  between  the  Bang  of 
Denmark  and  the  Emperor,  1629— The  Edict  of  Restitution,  1639— Its  Effect 
— Augsburg — The  Catholic  League — Tyranny  and  Cruelty  of  Wallenstein 
and  his  Army — Complaints  of  the  Catholics  and  Protestants  against  Wallen- 
stein to  the  Emperor — The  Princes  and  the  Nation  insist  upon  his  Dismissal 
— His  Resignation  464-474 


Gustavus  Adolphus,  King  of  Sweden,  in  Germany,  1630-1632 — His  Character 
— Motives  and  Plans  in  favour  of  Protestantism— Stralsund — Gustavus  de- 
clares War  against  Ferdinand — Lands  with  Ms  Army  in  Pomerania — Stettin 
— The  Protestant  Princes  hesitate  to  join  Gustavus — Ciistrin  and  Spandau — 
The  Elector  of  Brandenburg— The  Elector  of  Saxony— Siege  of  Magdeburg 
Count  Tilly — Conquers  and  burns  the  City — Dreadful  Massacre — Gustavus 
and  Tilly— Battle  of  Leipsic— Defeat  of  the  Imperialists— Glorious  Results  to 
Gustavus — Surrender  of  the  Cities — Ingolstadt — Tilly  wounded — His  Death 
— Munich — Prague — Ferdinand  and  Walleustein— Regal  splendour  of  Wal- 
lenstein—His  Palace — Re-assembles  an  Army  for  the  Emperor — Extravagant 
Conditions — Appointed  Generalissimo— The  Camp  of  Nuremberg — The  Swe- 
dish and  Imperial  Armies— Gustavus  in  Saxony — Battle  of  Liitzen,  1632 — 
Gustavus  killed— His  Death  revenged  by  the  Swedes— Total  Defeat  of 
Wallenstein— Portraiture  of  Gustavus  Adolphus  47  5  -49 1 


Continuation  of  the  War,  1632-1635— Chancellor  Oxenstiern— Wallenstein's 
Inaction — Court  Martial  over  his  Officers — Military  Executions — Count  of 
Thurn  taken  Prisoner  and  released  by  Wallenstein — The  Emperor's  Remon- 
strance and  Wallenstein's  Reply — The  Swedes  in  Bavaria — Wallenstein 
withholds  Assistance — Prohibits  his  Officers  from  obeying  the  Imperial  Com- 
mands— Pilsen — Military  Council,  and  Compact  between  Wallenstein  and 
his  Officers — Counts  Terzka,  Hlo,  and  Piccolomini — The  Emperor  divests 
Wallenstein  of  all  Command — Italian-Spanish  Conspiracy  against  Wallen- 
stein— Piccolomini  marches  against  Wallenstein — Wallenstein  negotiates  with 
France  and  Sweden  for  his  Services — The  Crown  of  Bohemia  offered  to  him 
— Retreats  to  Eger — The  Supper  in  the  Citadel — Murder  of  Counts  Terzka, 
Illo,  and  Kinsky,  by  Deveroux  and  Geraldin — Assassination  of  Wallenstein, 
1634 — His  Estates  confiscated — Succeeded  in  Command  by  Ferdinand,  King 
of  Rome — The  Battle  of  Nordlingen — The  Elector  of  Saxony — Peace  of 
Prague,  1635 — Dreadful  Condition  of  Germany— Cardinal  Richelieu  and 
Chancellor  Oxenstiern — French  and  Swedish  Alliance  against  the  Emperor — 
Inglorious  Character  of  the  War— Death  of  Ferdinand  II.,  1637 492-498 


Ferdinand  m.,  1637-1657— Continuation  of  the  War— Duke  Bernard  of 
Weimar  on  the  Rhine— His  Death— Cardinal  Richelieu— The  Swedish  Gene- 
rals—Banner— Torstenson— Wrangel— Negotiations  for  Peace— Tedious  Pro- 
gress— French  and  Swedish  Claims  of  Indemnification— Humiliation  and 
Dismemberment  of  the  Empire— Territorial  Sovereignty  of  the  Princes- 
Switzerland — The  Netherlands — Final  Arrangement  and  Conclusion  of  the 
Peace  of  Westphalia,  1648 499-507 



General  Observations— State  of  the  Empire— Agriculture— Commerce — The 
Nobility— French  Language,  Fashions,  and  Customs — Decline  of  National 
Feeling  in  Germany — Death  of  Ferdinand  III.,  1657— Leopold  I.,  1658-1705 
—The  Rhenish  League — Louis  XIV.,  of  France — His  ambitious  and  aggran- 
dising Spirit— Conquers  the  Netherlands— The  Elector  Frederick  William  of 
Brandenburg — Westphalia — The  Rhine— War  between  France  and  Germany 
— Battle  of  Fehrbellin,  1675 — Successes  of  the  Elector  of  Brandenburg — His 



energetic  Character — Extends  and  improves  his  Territories — Berlin' — Konigs- 
kerg — Generals  Montccuculi  and  Turenne— Peace  of  Nimwegen,  1678 — The 
four  French  Chambers  of  Reunion  —  Treachery  and  Dishonesty  of  Louis 
XIV.  towards  Germany— Claims  and  takes  Possession  of  Strasburg  and  other 
German  Towns  on  the  Rhine — Enters  Strasburg  in  Triumph,  1681— Pusilla- 
nimity and  disgraceful  Inertness  of  the  Germans — The  Turks  in  Hungary— 
Advance  and  lay  siege  to  Vienna,  1683— Flight  of  Leopold  and  his  Court — 
Brave  Defence  of  the  Viennese  under  Count  Kiidiger  of  Stahrenberg— Relieved 
by  Duke  Charles  of  Lorraine  and  Sobieski,  King  of  Poland — Heroism  of  So- 
bieski — Battle  of  Naussdorf— Total  Overthrow  and  Flight  of  the  Turks  by 
Sobieski— His  Letter  to  his  Queen — Description  of  the  Battle 511-527 


Fresh  War  with  France,  1688-1697— Alliance  of  England,  Holland,  and  Spain, 
against  Louis  XIV. — The  French  in  Germany — Dreadful  Devastation  and 
unheard  of  Cruelties  committed  by  Orders  of  Louis  XIV.— Conflagration  and 
complete  Destruction  of  Heidelberg,  Worms,  and  Spires — Deplorable  Condi- 
tion of  the  Inhabitants— The  Tombs  of  the  Emperors  pillaged — Peace  of 
Ryswick,  1697 — Compensation  demanded  for  Germany — Insolence  of  the 
French  Ambassadors— Elevation  of  the  German  Princes— The  First  Elector 
of  Hanover — Frederick,  Elector  of  Saxony,  ascends  the  Throne  of  Poland, 
1696 — Frederick,  Elector  of  Brandenburg,  places  the  Crown  on  his  own 
Head  as  King  of  Prussia,  1701 — War  of  the  Spanish  Succession,  between 
France  and  the  House  of  Austria,  1701-1714 — William  III.,  of  England — 
Louis  XIV.  Proclaims  his  Grandson,  Philip  of  Anjou,  King  of  Spain — 
Prince  Eugene — His  military  Genius  and  private  Character — Appointed 
Commander-in-chief  of  the  Imperial  Army — His  Reply  to  Louis  XIV. — 
Marches  into  Italy — Defeats  the  French  at  Carpi  and  Chiari — England — 
Louis  XIV.  and  the  Exiled  Stuarts— The  Duke  of  iVl  arlborough,  General  of 
of  the  Allied  Army — The  Elector  of  Bavaria — The  Bavarians  in  the  Tyrol — 
Their  Overthrow  by  the  Tyrolese— Battle  of  Hochstadt— Blenheim— Tri- 
umphant Victory  gained  by  the  Duke  of  Marlborough  and  Prince  Eugene, 
1704— The  Duke*  of  Marlborough  created  a  Prince  of  the  Empire — Death  of 
Leopold!.,  1705 527-538 


Joseph  I.,  1705-1711 — Continuation  of  the  War— Riots  in  Bavaria— The  Elec- 
tor outlawed — Marshal  Villeroi — Battles  of  Ramillies  and  Turin,  1706 — 
Triumph  of  Marlborough  and  Eugene — Complete  Overthrow  of  the  French —  ' 
General  Capitulation — Naples — Spain— Battles  of  Oudenarde  and  Malplaquet, 
1708-1709 — Defeat  of  the  French  under  Bourgoyne,  Vendome,  and  Villars  — 
Humiliation  of  Louis  XIV. — England — Queen  Anne — Marlborough  re- 
called and  dismissed— Death  of  Joseph  I.,  1711— Charles  VI.,  1711-1740— 
Peace  of  Utrecht,  1713— Peace  of  Rastadt  and  Baden,  1714— Death  of  Louis 
XIV.,  1715 — The  House  of  Austria  in  its  Relations  with  the  Germanic  Em- 
pire—Peaceful Reign  of  Charles  VL— His  Death,  1740 — Maria  Theresa  of 
Austria— Her  Title  to  the  Imperial  Throne  disputed  by  Charles  Albert  of  Ba- 
varia— Frederick  II.  of  Prussia — His  extraordinary  Genius  and  energetic 
Character— His  Army — Invades  Austria — The  First  Silesian  War,  1740- 
1742— Glogau — Sanguinary  Battle  of  Molwitz— Defeat  of  the  Austrians — Al- 
liance of  France,  Spain,  Bavaria,  and  Saxony,  against  Austria  in  Support  of 
Charles  Albert— Hanover — George  II.  of  England — Charles  Albert,  King  of 
Poland— Election  of  Emperor  in  Frankfort 539-555 


Charles  VII.,  Emperor  of  Germany,  1742-1745 — Maria  Theresa  in  Hungary — 
Her  Appeal  to  the  Nobles— Their  Devotion  to  her  Cause— March  into  Ba- 
varia—Seize that  Country  and  banish  its  Elector— Charles  VII.  a  Fugitive 
— Battle  of  Czaslau,  between  the  Austrians  and  Prussians,  1742 — Treaty  of 
Peace  between  Maria  Theresa  and  Frederick  II. — Continuation  of  the  Aus- 
trian Succession  War,  1742-1744 — The  French  in  Prague  under  Marshal 
Belle-Isle— Prague  besieged  by  the  Austrians — Abandoned  by  the  French — 
Charles  VII.  in  Bavaria— Again  a  Fugitive— George  II.  of  England  in  Ger- 

CONTENTS.  xili 


many— Battle  of  Dettingen,  1743 — Defeat  of  the  French— Alliance  of  Saxony 
and  Austria — Second  Silesian  War,  1744-1745 — Ill-success  of  Frederick- 
Death  of  Charles  VII.,  1745 — Silesia — Battle  of  Hohenfriedberg— Frederick 
victorious — Battle  of  Sorr— The  Princes  of  Brunswick— Frederick  trium- 
phant— Battle  of  Kesseldorf — Frederick  conquers  and  enters  Dresden — 
Peace  of  Dresden  and  End  of  the  Second  Silesian  War — Francis  I.  elected 
Emperor,  1745-1765 — Austria  and  France — Peace  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,  1748— 
Brief  Interval  of  Repose,  1748-1756— State  of  Affairs — Alliance  of  England 
and  Prussia,  1756 — Alliance  between  France  and  Austria,  1756— Saxony — 
Russia — Sweden — Combination  of  Powers  against  Prussia — The  Seven  Years' 
War,  1756-1763— Frederick  in  Saxony —Battle  of  Losowitz,  1756— Frederick 
victorious — The  Saxons  lay  down  their  Arms — Frederick  Conqueror  of 
Saxony — Immense  Armies  opposed  to  Frederick — His  Presence  of  Mind — 
Desperate  Battle  of  Prague — Charles  of  Lorraine — Death  of  the  Prussian 
General  Schwerin  and  the  Austrian  General  Brown — Frederick  victorious — 
Battle  of  Kollin — General  Daun — Frederick's  grand  Manoeuvre — Generals 
Ziethen  and  Hulsen — Frederick  and  Prince  Maurice  of  Dessau — Defeat  of 
Frederick — Shameful  Conduct  of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland— Convention  of 
Closter-Seven  between  him  and  the  French — Battle  between  the  Russians  and 
Prussians  at  Grossjagersdorf—  Defeat  of  the  Prussians — Withdrawal  of  the 
Russians — The  Empress  Elizabeth  of  Russia — The  Grand  Chancellor  Bestus- 
chef— Retreat  of  the  Swedes 555-571 


Continuation  of  the  Seven  Years'  War,  1757-1760— Battle  of  Rossbach,  1757— 
Total  Defeat  of  the  French — General  Seidlitz  and  the  Prussian  Cavalry — 
Reverses  of  Frederick— Silesia — Battle  of  Leuthen,  1757— Frederick's  Appeal 
to  his  Officers  and  Army — Then*  Enthusiasm — Complete  Overthrow  of  the 
Austrians— Glorious  Results  to  Frederick — His  Proposals  of  Peace  rejected 
by  Maria  Theresa — France — Russia — England's  Enthusiasm  for  Frederick — 
William  Pitt — England  supports  Frederick — Treaty  of  Closter-Seven  dis- 
avowed— Duke  Ferdinand  of  Brunswick  General-in-Chief  of  the  Allied  Army 
— Defeats  and  drives  away  the  French  from  Germany — Frederick  in  Silesia — 
Schweidnitz — Frederick's  rapid  March  into  Moravia — Olmiitz — Bohemia — 
Pomerania — Battle  between  the  Russians  and  Prussians  at  Zorndorf,  1758 — 
Dreadful  Slaughter  and  Defeat  of  the  Russians— The  Prussians  attacked  and 
defeated  by  the  Austrians  at  Hochkirch,  1758 — Frederick's  Presence  of  Mind 
—The  Prussian  Army— The  Imperial  Diet— The  Prince  of  Mecklenburg— 
The  Imperial  Ban  against  Frederick  proposed — Negatived — The  Allied  and 
French  Armies — Battle  of  Bergen,  1759— Partial  Success  of  the  French — 
Battle  of  Minden — Shameful  Conduct  of  the  English  General,  Sackville — 
Defeat  of  the  French— Battle  of  Kay  and  Kiinersdorf,  1759— Total  Defeat 
of  the  Prussians— Frederick's  Misfortjjpies — His  Despair — Prince  Henry  of 
Prussia — Continued  Reverses  of  Frederick — Battle  of  Liegnitz,  1760 — The 
Prussians  defeat  the  Austrians— Beneficial  Results  to  Frederick — Battle  of 
Torgau,  1760 — Total  Defeat  of  the  Austrians — Frederick  in  Leipsic 572-593 


Conclusion  of  the  Seven  Years' War,  1761-1762— The  Austrian  and  Russian 
Armies — The  Camp  of  Bunzelwitz— Frederick's  difficult  Position— Jealousy 
between  Generals  Butterlin  and  Laudon — Schweidnitz,  Glatz,  and  Colberg — 
Saxony — Berlin  threatened  by  the  Russians — The  Prussians  rise  en  masse  to 
expel  them— Death  of  Elizabeth  of  Russia— Peter  III.— Peace  and  Alliance 
between  Russia  and  Prussia— Sweden — Battle  of  Reichenbach — Frederick 
victorious — Schweidnitz— Final  Battle  and  Defeat  of  the  Austrians  at  Frei- 
berg—Peace between  France  and  England,  1763 — Peace  bet  ween  Prussia  and 
Austria  at  Eubertsburg,  1763 — Observations — The  Age  of  Frederick  the 
Great — His  Army — Exerts  himself  to  repair  the  Calamities  of  his  Country — 
His  indefatigable  Industry — His  Labours  and  Recreations — Genius  for  Poetry 
and  Music — His  Early  Years— His  Father's  Tyranny — Its  sad  Effects  even- 
tually proved — His  Predilection  for  French  Education  and  Literature- 
Voltaire— Helvetius,  6cc.— His  Anti-German  Feelings  and  Neglect  of  Na- 



tional  Genius — Lessing — Klopstock — Goethe — Kant — Fichte — Jacobi,  &c., — 
Joseph  II.  1765-1790 — Dismemberment  of  Poland,  1773 — Prussia  andEussia 
— Stanislaus  Poniatowski — Bavarian  War  of  Succession,  1778 — Death  of  Maria 
Theresa,  1780 — Innovations  and  intolerant  Measures  of  Joseph  II. — Frederick 
and  the  Allied  Princes  of  Germany  against  Joseph  II. — Death  of  Frederick 
the  Great,  1786— Death  of  Joseph  II.,  1790— Leopold  II.,  1790-1792 594-615 


Leopold  II.  and  the  State  of  France — France  declares  War  against  Austria, 
the  Imperial  States,  Holland,  Spam,  &c.,  1792 — Francis  II.  Emperor  of  Ger- 
many, 1792-1806 — Prussia — Successes  of  the  Allies — General  Dumouriez  and 
the  Republican  Army — The  Austrians  defeated  at  Jemappes — The  Nether- 
lands republicanized — Defeat  of  Dumouriez  at  Neerwinden,  1793 — Joins  the 
Allies— Continued  Successes  of  the  Allies  under  the  Dukes  of  York  and 
Coburg — Carnot — Generals  Pichegru  and  Jourdan — Battles  of  Tournay  and 
Fleurus — Jourdan's  Aerial  Reconnoitering  Messenger,  or  the  Adjutant  in  the 
Balloon — Defeat  of  the  Allies — Successes  of  the  French — Conquests  in 
Flanders,  Holland,  and  the  Rhine — Kaiserslautern — Peace'of  Basle,  1795 — 
England  and  Austria — France — The  Austrian  Generals  Beaulieu,  Wurmser, 
and  Archduke  Charles — Napoleon  Buonaparte,  1796 — Appointed  General 
in  Italy — His  Army — His  Conquests  and  rich  Booty  made  in  Italy — The 
French  in  Germany — Archduke  Charles — Moreau— His  famous  Retreat — 
Mantua— Buonaparte  in  Germany— His  rapid  Marches — Vienna — Peace  of 
Campo-Formio,  1797 — Shameful  Conditions — State  of  Europe — Alliance  of 
England,  Russia,  Austria,  and  Turkey— Hostilities  resumed,  1798— Buona- 
parte in  Egypt — Cairo — Aboukir — His  Fleet  destroyed  by  Nelson — Italy — 
General  Suwaroff— His  Successes  in  Italy — Genoa — Switzerland — SuwarofFs 
Passage  across  the  Alps — His  desperate  Appeal  to  his  Soldiers— His  Recall — 
The  Emperor  Paul  and  England — Buonaparte  First  Consul,  1799 — Genoa — 
Battle  of  Marengo,  1800 — General  Desaix — Moreau  in  Germany — Peace  of 
Luneville,  1801 — Sad  Results  to,  and  Sacrifices  made  by,  Germany — Resig- 
nation of  William  Pitt — Peace  of  Amiens,  1802 — England  declares  War 
against  France,  1803 — Buonaparte  takes  Possession  of  Hanover — The  Ger- 
man Legion  615-634 


Napoleon's  Consulship — Gains  the  Nation's  Confidence — Restores  internal 
Tranquillity  and  improves  the  Institutions  —  Napoleon  Emperor  of  the 
French,  1804 — His  Usurpations — Alliance  of  Austria,  Russia,  and  England 
— War  declared — Napoleon  in  Germany,  1805 — Defeats  the  Austrians — 
Ulm — General  Mack — Battle  of  Austerlitz— The  Allies  defeated— Peace  of 
Presburg — Dismemberment  of  the  States  of  Germany — Naples — Joseph  Buo- 
naparte— Holland — Louis  Buonaparte^- Rhenish  Confederation,  or  League  of 
the  German  Princes — Their  Degeneration — The  Emperor  of  Austria  lays 
down  his  Title  of  Emperor  of  Germany,  1806 — Prussia — Declares  War 
against  France — The  Prussian  Army— Battle  of  Saalfeld — Death  of  Prince 
Lewis  Ferdinand  of  Prussia— Battles  of  Jena  and  Auerstadt — Defeat  of  the 
Prussians — Napoleon  enters  Berlin— The  Russian  and  Prussian  Alliance 
— Battles  of  Eylau  and  Friedland — Defeat  of  the  Allies — Peace  of  Tilsit 
between  Russia  and  France,  1807 — Prussia's  Dismemberment — Westphalia 
— Hesse  —  Jerome  Buonaparte  —  Prussia — Lieutenant  Schill  —  Napoleon's 
triumphant  Return  to  Paris  634-644 


Austria  declares  War  against  France,  1809— Battles  of  Gross- Aspern  and 
Esslingen  —  Archduke  Charles— The  Austrians  victorious  —  Lieutenant 
Schill  killed — Execution  of  Palm,  the  Bookseller — The  Tyrolese— Battle  of 
Wagram — Defeat  of  the  Austrians — Peace  of  Vienna— The  French  in  the 
Tyrol — The  Mountaineers  overpowered — Execution  of  Holer,  the  Tyrolese 
Patriot— The  Duke  of  Brunswick — His  Territory  seized — His  bold  March — 
Embarks  for  England— His  Heroic  Death — Napoleon  at  the  Height  of  his 
Power — Marriage  with  the  Archduchess  Maria  Louisa  of  Austria,  1810  — 


His  continued  Usurpations  in  Germany — His  Campaign  in  Russia,  1812 — 
Conflagration  of  Moscow — The  French  Army  destroyed — Napoleon's  Flight 
and  Return  to  Paris — The  King  of  Prussia's  Declaration  and  general  Arming 
of  his  Nation  against  the  Invaders,  1813— Napoleon's  Preparations — The 
French  in  Germany  645-655 


Successes  of  the  Prussians — The  Duke  of  Mecklenhurg-Strelitz — His  Daughter, 
the  Queen  of  Prussia — Erfurt — Russia  unites  with  Prussia — Battle  of  Liitzen 
— Napoleon  in  Dresden — The  King  of  Saxony — Battle  of  Bautzen — Hamburg 
taken  by  Marshal  Davoust— Heavy  Contributions — The  Armistice — Prussia 
— The  Liitzow  Free  Corps — Theodore  Korner — Austria  endeavours  to  nego- 
tiate a  Peace  between  France  and  the  Allies — The  Congress  at  Prague — 
Napoleon  refuses  all  Concession — The  Emperor  of  Austria  declares  War, 
and  joins  Russia  and  Prussia — Dresden— Renewal  of  Hostilities — Strength 
and  Position  of  the  Allied  Forces — Bernadotte — Bliicher — Prince  Schwartz- 
enberg — Marshal  Oudinot — Battle  of  Gross-Beeren — Defeat  of  the  French.655-667 


Glorious  Victory  of  the  Prussians  under  Bliicher  at  Katzbach  —  Bliicher 
created  Prince  of  Wahlstadt — Battle  of  Dresden — Defeat  of  the  Austrians — 
Death  of  General  Moreau— Battle  of  Kulm— General  Kleist— Generals  Van- 
damme  and  Haxo  made  Prisoners — Battle  of  Dennewitz — Battle  of  War- 
tenburg — General  York — Preparations  for  the  Battle  of  Leipsic — The  French 
Army — Honours  and  Promotions  conferred  by  Napoleon — The  Allied  Forces 
— Prince  Schwartzenberg  667-675 


The  Three  Days'  Battle  of  Leipsic — Murat — The  Austrian  General  Meerveldt 
taken  Prisoner—Battle  of  Mockern — Marshals  Marmont  and  Bliicher — Ge- 
neral Horn — Total  Defeat  of  the  French — Buonaparte's  Offers  to  negotiate 
rejected — Breitenfeld — Bernadotte — Bennigsen — The  Prince  of  Hesse-Hom- 
burg— Prince  Poniatowsky — Probstheyda — The  Saxon  Army  deserts  Buo- 
naparte and  joins  the  Allies — The  Allied  Sovereigns — Night  Scene  on  the 
Field  of  Battle — Buonaparte's  Slumber — Retreat  of  the  French — Destruction 
of  the  Elster  Bridge — Prince  Poniatowsky's  Death — Triumphant  Entry  of 
the  Allies  into  Leipsic  676-685 


Napoleon's  Retreat  across  the  Rhine — Bavaria — General  Wrede — Hanau — The 
Allied  Forces  invade  France— Their  rapid  March — Napoleon  against  Bliicher 
— Battle  of  Brienne — Battle  of  Rothiere— Repulse  of  the  French — Temporary 
Successes  of  Napoleon — The  Congress  of  Chatillon— Napoleon's  Confidence 
restored — His  Declaration — Bliicher's  bold  Movement — Soissons — Laon — 
Napoleon  against  Schwartzenberg— Rheims — Arcis — Napoleon's  desperate 
Courage  and  final  Charge  with  his  Cavalry 686-693 


The  French  and  Allied  Armies  in  Battle  Array — Napoleon's  Sudden  and  Mys- 
terious Retreat  before  Action — His  secret  Designs  for  the  Destruction  of  the 
Allies — His  Plot  Discovered — The  Allies  before  Paris— Its  Capitulation — 
Triumphant  Entry  of  the  Allies  into  that  City — Napoleon  deposed — Louis 
XVIII.  King  of  France — Napoleon  at  Fontainebleau— His  Abdication— Ba- 
nishment to  Elba — Peace  Signed  at  Paris— Conclusion 694-700 



The  Sources  of  the  most  ancient  German  History — The  Nature  of  the  Country — 
The  Natives — The  Germanic  Races — Manners  and  Customs — Civil  Institutions — 
War — Regulations  and  Arms — Religion— Arts  and  Manufactures — The  Ger- 
manic Tribes. 


THE  history  of  the  origin,  and  of  the  earliest  state  of  the  German 
nation,  is  involved  in  impenetrable  obscurity.  No  records  tell  us 
when,  and  under  what  circumstances,  our  ancestors  migrated  out 
of  Asia,  the  cradle  of  the  human  race,  into  our  fatherland;  what 
causes  urged  them  to  seek  the  regions  of  the  north,  or  what  allied 
branches  they  left  behind  them  in  the  countries  they  quitted.  A 
few  scattered  and  obscure  historical  traces,  as  well  as  a  resemblance 
in  various  customs  and  regulations,  but  more  distinctly  the  affinities 
of  language,  indicate  a  relationship  with  the  Indians,  Servians,  and 
the  Greeks.* 

This  obscurity  of  our  earliest  history  must  not  surprise  us ;  for 
every  nation,  as  long  as  it  lives  in  a  half  savage  state,  without  a 
written  language,  neglects  every  record  of  its  history  beyond  mere 
traditions  and  songs,  which  pass  down  from  generation  to  genera- 
tion. But  as  these,  even  in  their  very  origin,  blend  fiction  with 
truth,  they  naturally  become,  in  the  course  of  centuries,  so  much 
disfigured,  that  scarcely  the  least  thread  of  historical  fact  is  to  be 
found  in  them.  Not  a  syllable  or  sound  of  even  those  traditions  and 
songs,  wherein,  according  to  the  testimony  of  the  Romans,  our  an- 
cestors also  delighted  to  celebrate  the  deeds  and  fate  of  their  people, 
has,  however,  descended  to  posterity. 

Our  authentic  history,  consequently,  commences  at  the  period 
when  our  ancestors,  possibly  after  they  had  dwelt  for  centuries,  or 
even  a  thousand  years,  in  our  native  country,  first  came  into  con- 
tact with  a  nation  that  already  knew  and  practised  the  art  of  his- 

*  According  to  more  recent  researches,  it  is  concluded  that  the  ancient  Sanscrit 
and  Zend  languages  may  have  formed  likewise  the  basis  of  the  German  tongue, 
or  at  least  have  approximated  more  closely  with  the  common  primitive  dialect. 



torical  writing.  This  happened  through  the  incursion  of  the  Cim- 
brians  and  teutonians  into  the  country  of  the  Romans,  in  the  year 
113  before  the  birth  of  Christ.  But  this  intercourse  was  too  tran- 
sitory, and  the  strangers  were  too  unknown,  and  too  foreign  to  the 
Romans,  for  them,  who  were  sufficiently  occupied  with  themselves, 
and  besides  which,  looked  haughtily  upon  all  that  was  alien,  to  in- 
quire very  particularly  into  their  origin  and  history. 

And  even  the  relation  of  this  contest  against  the  German  tribes, 
howsoever  important  it  was  to  the  Romans,  we  are  obliged  to  seek 
laboriously  from  many  authors  ;  for  the  source  whence  we  should 
draw  most  copiously,  is  precisely  here  dried  up,  the  books  of  the 
Roman  author,  Livy,  which  treated  of  this  war  in  detail,  having 
been  lost,  together  with  many  others;  and  we  only  possess — which 
we  may  even  consider  as  very  fortunate — their  mere  table  of  con- 
tents, by  means  whereof,  viz.,  those  of  the  63 — 68  books,  we  can 
at  least  trace  the  course  of  the  chief  events  of  the  war.  Beyond 
this,  we  derive  some  solitary  facts  from  Roman  historians  of  the 
second  and  third  class,  who  give  but  a  short  and  partially  mutilated 
account,  and  collectively  lived  too  long  after  this  period  to  be  con- 
sidered as  authentic  sources.  To  those  belong — 1,  the  "  Epit.  Rer. 
Rom."  of  Floras  (according  to  some,  a  book  of  the  Augustan  age, 
but  according  to  others,  the  work  of  L.  Annseus  Florus,  who  lived 
at  the  commencement  of  the  second  century  under  Adrian) ;  2,  the 
u  History  of  the  World"  of  Velleius  Paterculus,  in  a  brief  outline, 
down  to  the  period  of  Tiberius,  who  lived  about  the  time  of  the  birth 
of  Christ;  3,  the  "  De  Stratagematibus"  of  Frontinus  (about  150 
years  after  Christ)  contains  some  good  notices  of  the  Cimbrian  war ; 
4,  the  "  Dicta  et  Facta  Memorabilia"  of  Valerius  Maximus  (about 
20  years  after  Christ);  5,  the  "History  of  the  World"  of  Jus- 
tin (about  the  year  150);  and  6,  the  "  Sketch  of  the  Roman  His- 
tory" of  Eutropius  (about  the  year  375),  present  us  with  much — 
and  again  much  is  supplied  us,  incidentally,  by  the  Roman  writers 
who  did  not  directly  write  history. 

Among  those  who  wrote  in  Greek,  must  stand:  1,  Plutarch, 
(about  100  years  B.  C.J,  in  his  biography  of  "  Marius,"  besides 
whom,  good  details  may  be  gleaned  from:  2,  Diodorus  Siculus 
(about  the  period  of  the  birth  of  Christ),  in  his  "  Historical  Library;" 
3,  Appian  (about  the  year  160),  in  his  ethnographically  arranged 
"  History  of  the  Romans,"  (particularly  in  the  cap.,  "DeReb.  Celt."" 
and  "  De  Reb.  Illyr.");  4,  Dio  Cassius  (about  the  year  222),  in  the 
fragments  which  are  preserved  of  his  "  Roman  History ;"  and  among 
those  who  treat  of  geography,  Strabo  (about  the  period  of  the  birth 
of  Christ)  especially. 

After  the  Cimbrian  era,  another  half  century  passes  before  the 
Romans  again  mention  the  Germans.  It  was  towards  the  middle  of 
the  last  century  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  when  Julius  Caesar  advanced 
to  the  frontiers  of  what  may  be  truly  considered  Germany.  He  him- 
self mentions  having  fought  with  Ariovistus  in  Gaul,  and  afterwards 


with,  some  German  tribes  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  and  that 
he  twice  united  the  banks  of  this  river  by  means  of  a  bridge,  and 
set  foot  upon  the  opposite  side;  besides  which,  he  gives  us  all  the  in- 
formation he  could  obtain  from  the  Gauls,  travelling  merchants,  or 
German  captives,  relative  to  the  nature  and  condition  of  Germany 
and  its  people.     His  information  is  invaluable  to  us,  although  it  is 
but  scanty,  fragmentary,  and,  to  a  certain  extent,  not  to  be  depended 
upon.     For  this  great  commander,  who  strove  for  absolute  rule; 
who  used  mankind — he  cannot  be  freed  from  the  charge — as  the 
means   to  his  end;  who,  from  the  depth  of  an  already  corrupted 
state  of  civilization,  could  not  possibly  estimate  the  simple,  natural 
dignity  of  such  a  nation;  and  who,  lastly,  in  order  to  be  considered 
worthy  of  belief  in  every  thing'  he  relates,  too  well  understood  the 
art  of  representing  events  to  his  own  advantage, — such  a  writer,  we 
say,  cannot  truly  be  regarded  by  us  without  some  degree  of  mistrust. 
After   him   there  occurs  another   interval  of  about  fifty  years, 
during  which  the  obscurity  of  our  history  is  scarcely  illuminated  by 
a  single  ray  of  foreign  observation,  until  about  the  period  of  the 
birth  of  Christ,  and  when,  immediately  after,  the  Romans  again  set  foot 
upon,  and,  for  a  longer  period,  traversed  the  German  soil.   They  then 
became  tolerably  well  acquainted  with  the  south-west  and  north-west 
of  Germany;    or,  rather,  they  might  have  become  well  acquainted 
therewith,  had  their  prejudiced  and  selfish  minds,  which  were  barred 
against  all  foreign  peculiarities,  been  properly  competent  to  it,  and 
had  not  the  difficult  extremities  to  which  they  were  reduced  in  Ger- 
many too  much  occupied  them,  and  rendered  them  unjust  in  their 
judgment  of  the  country  and  its  inhabitants.     In  order  to  expose 
themselves  to  less  shame  for  being  several  times  severely  cut  up  by 
the  very  force  of  arms  borne  by  those  they  called  barbarians,  by 
whom  they  were  frequently  surpassed  in  prudence  and  warlike  sub- 
tlety; they  necessarily,  notwithstanding  the  decisive   victories    of 
which  they  boasted,  when  driven  from  the  German  soil,  extenuated 
their  own  misfortunes,  and  exaggerated  those  of  their  opponents, 
whom  they  accused  occasionally  of  deceit,  when  probably,  on  the 
contrary,  the  most  open  conduct  prevailed,  and  generally,  in  fact, 
they  heaped  upon  the  Germans  and  their  country  the  most  oppro- 
brious charges.     No  impartial  man  among  them,  who  was  an  eye- 
witness of  their  incursions,  describes  to  us  faithfully  the  events  them- 
selves, and  the  German  nation  generally.     The  only  historian  of  the 
period  who  might  have  done  so,  Velleius  Paterculus,  the  servant  of 
the  Emperor  Tiberius,  and  the  friend  of  his  favourite,  Sejanus,  who, 
in  the  years    immediately  preceding  and  succeeding  the  birth  of 
Christ  was  himself  in  Germany — that  is  to  say,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Elbe,  with  the  army  of  the  emperor—  shows  himself,  in  the  very 
scanty  notices  he  gives,  only  as  a  flatterer  of  his  despotic  lord,  whose 
deeds  he  elevates  to  the  skies  in  inflated  and  extravagant  language. 

A  second  Roman  writer,  who  also  had  seen   Germany,   PHny 
the  elder,  (and  who  died  in  the  year  79  A.  D.,)  had  been  upon 

B  2 


the  northern  coast   of  Germany,  among  the  Chauci,  but  certainly 
did  not  travel  far  into  the  land.     In  his  "  Hist.  Nat.,"  which  is  art 
Encyclopaedia  of  general  knowledge,  he  gives  us  several  valuable 
notices  of  the  natural  condition  of  our  country,  and  of  its  tribes  and 
nations.    His  information  and  judgment,  however,  must  be  used  with 
precaution,  as  his  critical  sagacity  is  often  questionable.  But  we  have 
suffered  an  irreparable  loss  in  his  twenty  books,  which  treated  of  all 
the  wars  of  the  Romans  with  the  Germans,  not  the  least  fragment 
of  which  has  come  down  to  us.     He  lived  so  near  the  period  that  he 
might  have  collected  the  information  as  correctly  as  it  was  to  be  ob- 
tained.    We  may,  however,  in  some  degree  console  ourselves  that 
Tacitus  (about  100  years  A.  D.),  who  cites  his  precursors  as  testi- 
monies, availed  himself  of  the  work   of  Pliny;  but  Tacitus  only 
relates  the  German  wars  in  part,  and  does  not  treat  them  as  the  prin- 
cipal subject,  whilst,  also,  much  from  him  that  was  important  is  lost 
to  us.     His  "Annals,"  which  relate  the  Roman  history  from  the 
death  of  Augustus  to  the  death  of  Nero,  commence  after  the  great 
German  battle  of  liberty  with  Varus;  but  of  these  annals  all  from 
the  seventh  to  the  tenth  book  is  also  wanting,  and  the  fifth  and  six- 
teenth books  have  come  down  to  us  only  in  an  imperfect  state.     We, 
nevertheless,  acknowledge  him  to  be  by  far  the  chief  and  most  im- 
portant author  as  regards  our  earlier  German  history,  and  revere  his 
elevated  feeling  for  moral  dignity,  for  truth  and  justice,  in  what  he 
also  relates  of  the  contests  between  the  Romans  and  Germans,  al- 
though, faultlessly  on  his  part,  he  does  not  always  draw  his  infor- 
mation from  a  pure  source.    But  we  value  him  for  the  treasure  he  has 
left  us  in  his  description  of  Germany  and  its  people,  ("  De  Situ  ac 
Moribus  Germ.").     His  deep  feeling  for  simplicity  of  manners,  and 
healthy  energy  of  nature,  had  made  him  a  warm  friend  towards 
the  German  natives;  and  it  appeared  to  him  that  a  faithful  descrip- 
tion of  the  German  nation  would  be  a  work  worthy  of  his  pen, 
so  that,  when  placed  before  his  corrupted  countrymen,  it  should 
present  to  their  view  a  picture  which  might  bring  many  of  those 
whose  minds  were  as  yet  not  quite  unsusceptible,  to  acknowledge 
their  own  unnatural  condition.     For  this  purpose  he  collected  all 
that  he  could  obtain  from  the  earlier  authors,  from  the  oral  informa- 
tion of  the  Romans  who  had  been  in  Germany,  and  from  the  Ger- 
mans who  were  in  the  Roman  service.     Thus  arose  this  invaluable 
book,  which  may  be  called  a  temple  of  honour  to  the  German  na- 
tion, and  which  illuminates,  like  a  bright  star,  the  commencement 
of  their  otherwise  obscure  path.     Some  things,  indeed,  through  too 
great  a  predilection,  may  be  placed  by  him  in  too  favourable  a  light; 
but,  even  if  much  be  deducted,  still  sufficient  that  is  praiseworthy 
remains,  and  that  the  material  portion  is  true,  we  may  be  assured  of 
by  the  incorruptible  love  of  truth  of  the  noble  Roman,  which  speaks 
so  triumphantly  in  all  his  works. 

Among  the  remainder  of  the  less  important  historians  who  con- 
tributed to  our  earliest  history,  and  are  already  mentioned  in  the 


notice  of  the  Cimbrian  war,  Dio  Cassius  may  be  included  as  im- 
portant; for  the  later  wars  may  be  named,  Suetonius  (110  years 
A.D.,  esteemed  by  Trajan  and  Adrian),  in  his  biography  of  the 
twelve  first  Caesars;  the  "  Scriptores  Hist.  Augustee,"  towards  the 
end  of  the  third  century;  jJElius  Spartianus,  Julius  Capitolinus, 
and  Flavius  Vopiscus;  Aurelius  Victor  (330),  in  his  biography  of 
the  Cassars,  from  Augustus  to  Constantine;  and  Paulus  Orosius  (417), 
in  his  history.  Among  the  geographical  writers,  besides  Strabo  and 
Pomponius  Mela  (48),  we  may  name  in  particular  Claudius  Ptolo- 
masus  (140),  who  constructed  a  system  of  geography  upon  a  lost 
work  of  Tyrian  Marinos,  and  was  particularly  careful  in  the  deter- 
mination of  longitude  and  latitude. 

But  even  when  we  have  brought  together  all  of  the  best  that  ancient 
authors  supply  us  with  upon  Germany,  and  console  ourselves  over  the 
great  chasms  they  leave,  with  the  idea  that  still  something  has  de- 
scended to  us  both  great  and  important,  we  must  nevertheless  con- 
sider it  but  as  the  testimony  of  strangers, — of  the  people  of  the  South, 
differing  essentially  from  the  Germans  in  nature  and  character,  igno- 
rant of  their  language,  and,  with  the  exception  of  one  instance, 
indifferent,  or  rather  inimically-minded,  towards  them.  Not  a 
single  German  word,  correcting  the  judgment  of  the  Romans,  or 
elucidating  the  thread  of  events  which  the  Romans  could  neither 
.see  nor  understand,  resounds  to  us  from  yonder  period.  How  much 
richer,  and  certainly  more  honourable,  would  the  picture  develop 
itself  before  us,  did  we  also  possess  German  records ! 

But  it  was  not  until  many  centuries  later,  after  multifarious  con- 
vulsions had  taken  place,  and  most  of  the  constituent  parts  of 
ancient  times  had  disappeared  from  their  seat,  that  isolated  and 
scanty  sources  of  history  commenced  flowing  from  original  German 
testimony,  by  writers  who,  driven  with  their  countrymen  to  foreign 
lands,  there  endeavoured  to  relate  their  career  and  fate.  Their  names 
will  be  mentioned  at  the  commencement  of  the  second  period. 

After  what  is  stated  above,  we  must  rest  contented  with  giving  as 
true  a  picture  as  possible  of  ancient  German  history,  derived  as  it  is  from 
the  Roman  and  Greek  writers,  and  by  conclusions  drawn  from  later 
testimony  upon  earlier  times,  admitting  that  much  must  necessarily 
appear  obscure,  fragmentary,  and  contradictory,  and  that  upon  many 
points  opinions  will  for  ever  remain  divided.  The  period  to  which 
the  following  description  belongs,  is  about  the  time  of  the  birth  of 
Christ,  and  the  few  immediately  succeeding  centuries. 


According  to  the  description  of  the  Romans,  Germany  was,  at 
the  time  they  first  became  acquainted  with  it,  a  rude  and  inhos- 
pitable land,  full  of  immense  forests,  marshes,  and  desert  tracts. 
The  great  Hercynian  forest,  by  Caesar's  account,  extended  from  the 
Alps  over  a  space,  that  in  its  length  occupied  sixty,  and  in  its  width 
nine  days'  journey;  consequently,  all  the  chief  mountain  chains  and 


forests  of  the  present  Germany,  must  be  the  remnants  of  that  one 
stupendous  wooded  range.  But  Caesar,  from  the  indefinite  informa- 
tion he  received,  owing  to  his  ignorance  of  the  German  language, 
applied  the  general  German  word,  Hart,  or  Harz,  for  mountain,  to 
the  collective  mountain  forests  of  the  land,  which,  however,  the 
natives  certainly  already  distinguished  by  different  appellations. 
Later  authors,  viz.,  Pliny  and  Tacitus,  circumscribe  the  Hercynian 
forests  to  those  chains  of  mountains  which,  to  the  south  of  the 
Thuringian  forest,  enclose  Bohemia,  and  in  the  east  extend  to  Mo- 
ravia and  Hungary.  They  also,  as  well  as  Ptolemy,  subsequently, 
mention  many  individual  mountains  by  peculiar  names ;  for  example, 
Mons  Abnoba,  the  Black  Forest,  (Ptolemy  seems  to  imply  by  this, 
the  mountains  between  the  Maine,  the  Rhine,  and  the  Weser);  the 
Melibokos  mountains,  the  present  Harz ;  the  Semana  forest,  to  the 
south  of  the  Harz,  towards  the  Thuringian  forest ;  the  Sudeta  forest, 
a  portion  of  the  Thuringian  forest;  the  Gabreta  forest,  the  Bohe- 
mian forest;  the  Askiburgisfi  mountains,  according  to  some  the  Erz, 
or  rather  the  Riesen-Gebixg  ;  the  Taunus,  the  heights  between 
Wiesbaden  and  Homburg;  the  Teutsburger  forest,  the  mountain 
and  forest  tracts  which  extend  from  the  Weser  through  Paderborn^ 
as  far  as  Osnaburg.  Cassar  mentions  besides,  the  Bacenis  forest, 
probably  the  western  portion  of  the  Thuringian  forest,  which  ex- 
tends into  Fulda,  and  in  the  middle  ages  was  called  Bocauna,  or 
Buchonia;  and  Tacitus  names  the  Silvia  Cassia ,  between  the  Ems 
and  the  Issel,  the  remains  of  which  may  be  the  Haser  forest,  and 
the  Baumberge,  near  Coesfeld;  and  that  town  itself  may  probably 
have  preserved  the  name.  Many  other  less  important  or  uncertain 
names  we  pass  over. 

The  large  German  forests  consisted  probably,  as  now,  principally  of 
oaks,  beeches,  and  pines.  The  Romans  admired,  above  all,  the  immense 
oaks,  which  seemed  to  them  coeval  with  the  earth  itself.  Pliny, 
who  had  been  personally  in  the  north  of  Westphalia,  in  the  country 
of  the  Chauci,  expresses  himself  thus  upon  them:  "  Created  with 
the  earth  itself,  untouched  by  centuries,  the  monstrous  trunks  sur- 
pass, by  their  powerful  vitality,  all  other  wonders  of  nature." 
^  The  Romans  were  also  acquainted  with  the  majority  of  German 
rivers:  Danubius,  the  Danube;  Rhenus,  the  Rhine;  Moenus,  the 
Maine;  Albis,  the  Elbe;  Visurgis,  the  Weser;  Viadrus,  the  Oder; 
the  Vistula;  Nicer,  the  Necker;  Luppia,  the  Lippe;  Amisia,  the 
Ems;  Adrana,  the  Eder;  Salas  (in  Strabo  alone),  the  Saale;  and 
some  others.  It  is  remarkable  that  the  Romans  do  not  mention  the 
Lahn  and  the  Ruhr,  although  they  must  surely  have  become  ac- 
quainted with  them  in  their  campaigns  in  the  north  of  Germany. 
The  German  rivers  were  not  at  that  period  made  passable  by  means 
of  bridges,  which  the  native  did  not  require,  as  he  easily  swam 
across  the  former,  and  for  wider  transits  he  had  his  boats. 

The  soil  of  the  land  was  not  cultivated  as  now,  although  the 
Romans  call  portions  of  it  extremely  fertile,  and  agriculture  and 


pasturage  were  the  chief  occupations  of  the  Germans.  Rye,  barley, 
oats,  and,  according  to  the  opinions  of  some,  wheat  also,  were  culti- 
vated ;  flax  was  everywhere  distributed ;  various  sorts  of  carrots  and 
turnips  it  certainly  produced;  the  Romans  admired  radishes  of  the 
size  of  a  child's  head,  and  mention  asparagus,  which  they,  indeed,  did 
not  praise,  and  a  species  of  parsley,  which  pleased  them  much.  The 
superior  fruits  of  southern  climates  which  have  been  subsequently 
transplanted  among  them,  might  probably  not  then  thrive,  although 
Pliny  mentions  a  species  of  cherry  found  near  the  Rhine,  and  Ta- 
citus names  among  the  food  of  the  Germans  wild-tree  fruits  (agrestia 
poma),  which  must  certainly  have  been  better  than  our  crab-apples. 

The  pastures  were  rich  and  beautiful,  and  the  horned  cattle  as 
well  as  the  horses,  although  small  and  inconsiderable,  yet  of  a  good 
and  durable  kind. 

The  most  important  of  all  condiments,  salt,  the  Germans  found 
upon  their  native  soil,  nor  did  it  refuse  them  that  most  useful  of  all 
metals,  iron,  and  they  understood  the  art  of  procuring  and  manufac- 
turing it;  they  do  not,  however,  appear  to  have  dug  for  silver. 

Of  the  many  strengthening  mineral  springs  which  the  country 
number,  the  Romans  already  mention  Spa  and  Wiesbaden. 

The  climate,  in  consequence  of  the  immense  forests,  whose  density 
was  impervious  to  the  rays  of  the  sun,  and  owing  to  the  un- 
drained  fens  and  marshes,  was  colder,  more  foggy  and  inclement 
than  at  present,  was  nevertheless  not  quite  so  bad  perhaps  as  repre- 
sented by  the  Romans,  spoilt  as  they  were  by  the  luxurious  climate  of 
Italy.  According  to  them  the  trees  were  without  leaves  for  eight  months 
in  the  year,  and  the  large  rivers  were  regularly  so  deeply  and  firmly 
frozen  that  they  could  bear  upon  them  the  heavy  field-equipages  of 
the  army.  "  The  Germans,"  says  Pliny,  "  know  only  three  seasons, 
winter,  spring,  and  summer ;  of  autumn  they  know  neither  the  name 
nor  its  fruits."  The  Romans  found  the  country  in  general  so  un- 
genial,  that  they  considered  it  quite  impossible  that  any  one  should 
quit  Italy  to  dwell  in  Germany. 

But  the  ancient  Germans  loved  this  country  beyond  all,  because, 
as  free  men,  they  were  born  in  it,  and  the  nature  of  the  climate 
helped  them  to  defend  this  freedom.  The  forests  and  marshes  ap- 
palled the  enemy ;  the  severity  of  the  air  as  well  as  the  chase  of  wild 
animals,  strengthened  the  bodies  of  the  men,  and  nourished  by  a 
simple  diet,  they  grew  to  so  stately  a  size  that  other  nations  admired 
them  with  astonishment. 


The  Romans  justly  considered  the  German  nation  as  an  aboriginal, 
pure,  and  unmixed  race  of  people.  They  resembled  themselves  alone ; 
and  like  the  specifically  similar  plants  of  the  field,  which  springing  from 
a  pure  seed,  not  raised  in  the  hotbed  of  a  garden,  but  germinating 
in  the  healthy,  free,  unsheltered  soil,  do  not  differ  from  each  other 
by  varieties,  so  also,  among  the  thousands  of  the  simple  German  race, 


there  was  but  one  determined  and  equal  form  of  body.  Their  chest  was 
wide  and  strong ;  their  hair  yellow,  and  with  young  children  it  was  of  a 
dazzling  white.  Their  skin  was  also  white,  their  eyes  blue,  and  their 
glance  bold  and  piercing.  Their  powerful,  gigantic  bodies,  which 
the  Romans  and  Gauls  could  not  behold  without  fear,  displayed  the 
strength  that  nature  had  given  to  this  people,  for  according  to  the 
testimony  of  some  of  the  ancient  writers  their  usual  height  was 
seven  feet. 

From  their  earliest  youth  upwards  they  hardened  their  bodies  by 
all  devisable  means.  New-born  infants  were  dipped  in  cold  water, 
and  the  cold  bath  was  continued  during  their  whole  lives  as  the 
strengthening  renovator  by  both  boys  and  girls,  men  and  women. 
Their  dress  was  a  broad  short  mantle  fastened  by  a  girdle,  or  the 
skins  of  wild  animals,  the  trophies  of  the  successful  chace ;  in  both 
sexes  a  great  portion  of  the  body  was  left  uncovered,  and  the  winter 
did  not  induce  them  to  clothe  themselves  warmer.  The  children 
ran  about  almost  naked,  and  effeminate  nations,  who  with  difficulty 
reared  their  children  during  the  earliest  infancy,  wondered  how 
those  of  the  Germans,  without  cradles  or  swaddling  bands,  should 
grow  up  to  the  very  fullest  bloom  of  health. 

The  Romans  called  our  nation,  from  its  warlike  and  valiant  mode  of 
thinking,  GEKMANS;*  a  name  which  the  Tungi,  —a  body  of  German 
warriors,  who,  at  an  earlier  period,  crossed  the  Rhine,  and  colonized, 
with  arms  in  hand,  among  the  Gauls, — first  bore,  and  subsequently 
applied  to  all  their  race,  to  express  thereby  their  warlike  manners,  and 
thus  to  impress  their  enemies  with  terror.  This  name  was  willingly 
adopted,  as  a  name  of  honour,  by  all  Germans,  and  thus  it  remained. 

The  aboriginal  name  of  the  people  is,  however,  without  doubt 
the  same  which  they  bear  to  the  present  day.  It  springs  from  the 
word  Diot  (in  the  Gothic,  Thiudu),  which  signifies  Nation.  A 
Teutscher  or  Deutscher,  according  to  the  harder  or  softer  pronun- 
ciation, was,  therefore,  one  belonging  to  the  nation ,  which  styled 
itself  so  prerogatively. 

According  to  history,  it  was  some  centuries  after  the  decline  of 
the  Roman  dominion,  that  the  name  of  the  nation  of  Germans  was 
again  heard  of,  and  it  is  found  in  but  few  records  prior  to  Otto  I.,  the 
earliest  of  which  bears  the  date  of  the  year  813. 

It  must  not  appear  remarkable  to  us,  that  the  original  collective 
name  of  the  people  was  little  used  in  the  earlier  periods,  and  was 
probably  unknown  to  the  Romans.  In  the  intercourse  with  a  nation 
composed  of  so  many  septs,  the  names  of  only  those  septs  transpired 

*  Most  probably  from  the  word  ger,  spear  or  lance,  and  the  word  man — the  man,  the 
lord  or  chief.  Therefore,  in  any  case,  a  warlike  title  of  honour,  which  distinguished 
the  manliness  and  valour  of  the  nation.  It  is  worthy  of  remark,  that  the  name 
Germanen,  which,  before  Caesar,  no  Roman  author  mentions,  appears  on  a  marble 
slab  discovered  in  the  year  1547,  and  which  is  connected  Avith  the  celebrated  Fastis 
Capitolinis,  in  the  year,  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  223.  The  consul  Marcellus  gained 
in  that  year  a  victory  over  the  Gallic  chief  Viridomar,  who  is  inscribed  upon  that 
captured  slab  a  leader  of  the  Gauls  and  Germanen. 


with  whom  that  communication  took  place,  because  each  held  itself 
to  be  a  nation  (Diot);  and  so  also  later,  when  various  tribes  asso- 
ciated together  in  bodies,  merely  the  name  of  the  union  appeared : 
as,  the  Suevi,  the  Marcomanni,  the  Allemanni,  the  Goths,  the 
Pranks,  and  the  Saxons.  It  is,  however,  remarkable  enough,  that 
we  meet  with  the  original  national  name  in  that  of  the  Teu- 
tonians,  which  is  already  used  by  Pytheas,  300  years  before  the  birth 
of  Christ,  and  which  again  recurs  in  the  Cimbrian  war. 


Ancient  authors  mention  several  German  tribes,  as  well  as  their 
dwelling-places,  with  greater  or  less  precision.  Several  of  them  also 
speak  of  the  chief  tribes  amongst  which  the  single  septs  united  them- 
selves. But  their  statements  are  not  sufficiently  unanimous  or  pre- 
cise, to  give  us  that  clear  view  which  we  would,  however,  so  wil- 
lingly obtain.  For  how  desirable  would  it  not  be  for  us  to  be  able, 
even  in  the  very  cradle  of  our  history,  to  point  out  the  original  dis- 
tinctions of  the  races  as  yet  discovered,  and  which  display  them- 
selves in  the  different  dialects  of  the  German  language,  as  well  as 
in  many  essential  differences  in  the  manners  of  the  people,  particu- 
larly in  those  of  the  less  sophisticated  peasantry !  But  we  are  here 
upon  too  insecure  a  foundation,  although  it  still  yields  us  some  few 
features  always  important. 

The  most  obscure  account  presented  to  us  is  the  fivefold  division 
of  tribes  given  by  Pliny.  Beginning  at  the  extreme  north  coast, 
towards  the  estuary  of  the  Vistula,  he  first  mentions  the  Vinilians  or 
Windiler;  farther  westward,  towards  the  East  Sea  coast,  and  beyond 
the  Cimbrian  peninsula,  towards  the  North  Sea,  as  far  as  the  mouth 
of  the  Ems,  the  Ingavonians ;  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Rhine, 
as  far  as  the  Maine,  and  higher  up  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  the 
Istavonians;  and  in  the  middle  of  Germany,  particularly  in  the  high- 
lands along  the  Upper  Weser,  the  Werra,  Fulda,  and  towards  the 
south,  as  far  as  the  Hercynian  forest,  the  Hermionian  tribes.  He  gives 
no  general  name  to  the  fifth  tribe,  but  includes  therein  the  Peu- 
cinians  and  Bastarnians  in  the  districts  of  the  Lower  Danube,  as  far 
as  Dacia. 

Tacitus  also  mentions  three  of  these  names,  but  he  derives  them 
from  the  mythical  origin  of  the  people.  Man,  the  son  of  Tuisko, 
had  three  sons,  Ingavon,  Istavon,  and  Hermion,  whose  descendants 
formed  the  three  principal  tribes  of  the  Ingavonians,  the  Istavonians, 
and  the  Hermionians. 

We  would  willingly,  as  before  mentioned,  bring  the  fourth  or  fifth- 
fold  division  of  the  tribes  of  Pliny,  in  conjunction  with  the  subse- 
quent times,  and,  on  this  head,  we  are  not  altogether  without  some 
historical  indications, — as,  viz.,  when  the  Vandals,  of  their  own  accord, 
return  later  and  join  in  the  great  Gothic  union;  when  the  Suevi,  the 
flower  of  the  Allemannic  alliance,  as  the  inhabitants  of  the  internal 


and  south-western  parts  of  Germany,  thus  bring  to  mind  the  Her- 
mionians,  the  Ingavonians  and  Istavonians  therefore  remaining  for 
the  north  and  north-western  portions  ;  so  that  as,  even  in  the 
earlier  times  of  the  Romans,  an  essential  difference,  nay,  a  de- 
cided contrast,  in  comparison  with  the  inhabitants  of  the  North 
Sea,  the  Tresians  and  Chaucians,  evidently  occurs  between  the  inha- 
bitants of  the  Middle  and  Lower  Rhine,  extending  itself  onwards  to- 
wards the  mountain  districts  of  the  Weser  and  the  Harz,  and  which, 
in  the  subsequent  league  of  the  Franks  and  Saxons,  becomes  con- 
firmed, we  have  thence  furnished  to  us  already  the  third  and  fourth 
principal  tribes  of  Pliny. 

The  fifth  he  refers  to  as  before-mentioned.  Proceeding  further  on- 
wards we  may  find  again  in  Bavaria  the  remnant  of  the  Gothic  tribe, 
which,  after  the  period  of  the  migration  of  the  people,  remained  sta- 
tionary in  Germany,  so  that  between  the  later  four  principal  nations  in 
Germany,  the  Franks,  the  Saxons,  the  Swabians,  and  Bavarians,  a 
connexion  is  formed  and  established  even  to  the  original  tribes  of 
Pliny.  Such  links  of  connexion  convey  assuredly  a  great  charm; 
but  we,  nevertheless,  wander  upon  ground  too  uncertain  to  enable  us 
to  succeed  in  acquiring  authentic  historical  data. 

Much  more  importance  attaches,  on  the  contrary,  to  what  the 
ancients,  but  more  distinctly  Csesar  and  Tacitus,  relate  of  the  pecu- 
liarities of  one  German  chief  tribe,  which  included  many  individual 
septs,  namely  the  Suem.  From  the  combination  of  the  picture 
sketched  by  them,  in  conjunction  with  other  descriptions  of  German 
manners  and  institutions,  we  can  define,  with  tolerable  safety,  the 
peculiarities  of  a  second  tribe,  although  the  Romans  give  it  no 
general  name.  We  will  first  pourtray  the  Suevi,  as  Caesar  and  Ta- 
citus described  them : 

1.  The  nations  forming  the  Suevic  race  dwelt  in  the  large  semi- 
circle traced  by  the  upper  and  middle  Rhine  and  the  Danube, 
through  the  middle  of  Germany,  and  farther  towards  the  north  to 
the  East  Sea,  so  that  they  occupied  the  country  of  the  Necker,  the 
Maine,  the  Saale,  and  then  the  right  Elbe  bank  of  the  Havel,  Spree, 
and  Oder.  Nay,  Tacitus  even  places  Suevic  tribes  beyond  the 
Vistula,  as  well  in  the  interior  as  on  the  coasts  of  the  Baltic,  and 
beyond  it  in  Sweden.  Grounds  of  probability,  admit,  indeed,  of 
our  placing  a  third — the  Gothic- Vandal  tribe,  between  the  Oder  and 
the  Vistula,  and  along  the  latter  stream ;  but  as  distinct  information 
is  wanting,  we  can  but  allude  to  it,  of  which  more  below.  The 
Suevi,  as  Cassar  informs  us,  had  early  formed  themselves  into  one 
large  union,  whose  principles  were  distinctly  warlike.  The  love  of 
arms  was  assiduously  cherished  in  all,  that  they  might  be  always 
ready  for  any  undertaking.  Thence  it  was  that  individuals  had  no 
fixed  landed  possessions ;  but  the  princes  and  leaders  yearly  divided, 
the  land  among  the  families  just  as  it  pleased  them;  and  none  were 
allowed  even  to  select  the  same  pastures  for  two  consecutive  years, 


but  were  forced  to  exchange  with  each  other,  that  neither  of  them  might 
accustom  himself  to  the  ground,  and,  acquiring  a  love  for  his  dwelling- 
place,  be  thus  induced  to  exchange  the  love  of  war  for  agriculture. 
They  were  afraid  that,  if  an  individual  were  permitted  to  acquire  an 
extensive  tract,  the  powerful  might  chase  away  the  poor,  build 
large  and  imposing  dwellings,  and  that  the  lust  of  wealth  might 
give  rise  to  factions  and  divisions.  Besides  which,  they  were  obliged, 
from  each  of  their  hundred  districts,  to  supply  the  wars  with  a  thou- 
sand men  yearly,  and  those  who  remained  at  home  cultivated  the 
land  for  all.  The  following  year,  on  the  other  hand,  the  latter 
marched  under  arms,  and  the  former  remained  at  home,  so  that 
agriculture  as  well  as  the  art  of  war  were  in  constant  exercise. 

They  considered  it  a  proof  of  glory  when  the  whole  tract 
beyond  their  frontiers  lay  waste,  as  a  sign  that  the  neighbouring 
nations  were  not  able  to  resist  their  force.  They  might  also  have 
considered  it  perhaps  as  a  greater  security  against  sudden  invasion. 

In  these,  although  rude  principles  of  the  Suevic  union,  a  great 
idea  manifests  itself,  and  proves  that  the  ancient  Germans,  about 
the  period  of  the  birth  of  Christ,  were  by  no  means  to  be  reckoned 
among  the  savage  tribes.  What  Lycurgus  wished  to  effect  by 
means  of  his  legislation  among  the  Spartans,  and  for  the  same 
reason  that  he  allowed  his  citizens  no  fixed  and  exclusive  posses- 
sion, seems  to  have  been  a  principle  and  combining  power  of  the 
Suevic  union,  viz:  a  public  spirit,  so  general  and  operative,  that  the 
individual  should  submit  himself  to  the  common  good,  and  for  which 
and  in  which  he  should  only  live;  and  not  by  selfishness,  faction,  or 
by  idleness,  desire  to  separate  himself  from  the  rest,  or  consider  his 
own  weal  as  more  important  than  that  of  the  collective  body. 

2.  The  Romans  mention  many  individual  tribes  in  the  north- 
west of  Germany,  between  the  lower  Elbe  and  the  lower  Rhine,  con- 
sequently about  the  Aller,  the  Seine,  the  Harz,  the  Weser,  the  Lippe, 
the  Ruhr,  and  the  Ems,  as  high  up  as  the  coasts  of  the  Baltic,  (later 
also  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  Rhine,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Meuse 
and  Scheldt,)  without  distinguishing  them  by  a  collective  name.  Sub- 
sequently, in  the  second  century  after  the  birth  of  Christ,  the  name  of 
Saxon  occurs  in  these  districts,  and  in  still  later  times  it  becomes  the 
dominant  title  in  the  above-mentioned  tracts  of  land ;  for  in  the  third 
century,  the  tribe  of  Saxons  spread  forth  from  Holstein  over  Lower 
Germany,  and  gave  its  own  name  to  all  those  tribes  which  it  conquered 
or  united  by  alliance.  It  has  been  customary  to  apply  the  name  of 
Saxons,  for  even  the  earlier  periods,  as  the  collective  appellation  of 
all  the  tribes  of  lower  Germany,  and  thereby  to  express  the  very  op- 
posite character  they  presented  in  their  whole  mode  of  living  to  the 
Suevi.  For  as  these  unwillingly  confined  themselves  to  a  fixed  spot, 
and  by  their  greater  exercise  and  activity,  kept  themselves  con- 
stantly ready  for  every  warlike  undertaking,  so,  on  the  other  hand, 
the  nations  of  Lower  Germany  had  early  accustomed  themselves  to 
settled  dwellings,  and  had  made  agriculture  their  principal  occupa- 


tion.  They  dwelt  upon  scattered  farms;  each  farm  had  its  boun- 
daries around  it,  and  was  enclosed  by  a  hedge  and  bank  of  earth. 
The  owner  was  lord  and  priest  within  his  farm,  and  by  voluntary 
union  with  a  number  of  other  proprietors  was  attached  to  a  com- 
munity ;  and  several  communities  again  were  bound  to  a  Gau  or  dis- 
trict. The  name  of  Saxon,  which  is  derived  from  sitzen,  to  sit,  and 
has  the  same  signification  as  to  occupy,  or  hold,  appeared  effectively 
to  characterise  the  peculiarity  of  this  people;  whilst  on  the  other 
hand,  the  name  of  Suevi  would  indicate  the  roaming  life  led  by  the 
others.  But  these  derivations  are  more  ingeniously  than  historically 
founded.  The  name  of  Saxon  is,  according  to  all  probability,  to  be 
derived  from  the  short  swords,  called  Saxens  (Sahs),  of  this  people ; 
but  that  of  the  Suevi  in  its  derivation  is  not  as  yet  thoroughly  ex- 
plained. Meantime,  however,  the  contrast  between  the  Suevi  and 
the  non- Suevi  is  not  to  be  mistaken.  In  the  latter  we  find  the  greatest 
freedom  and  independence  of  the  individual;  in  the  former  we 
perceive  the  combined  power  and  unity  of  the  whole,  wherein  the 
individual  self  is  merged ;  in  the  latter  again,  domestic  life  in  its  entire 
privacy,  and  in  the  former,  public  life  in  the — although  as  yet  rude — 
accomplishment  of  an  acutely  formed  idea. 

Saxon  institutions  were  not  the  most  favourable  for  the  exercise 
of  the  strength  of  a  nation  against  the  enemy.  But  it  gives  a 
strong  and  self-dependent  mind  to  the  individual  man,  to  find  him- 
self sole  lord  and  master  upon  his  own  property,  and  knowing  that 
it  is  his  own  power  that  must  protect  wife  and  child.  In  villages, 
or  even  in  towns  where  man  dwells  amidst  a  mass,  he  depends  upon 
the  protection  of  others,  and  thereby  easily  becomes  indolent  or  cow- 
ardly. But  the  isolated  inhabitant,  in  his,  frequently,  defiance-bid- 
ding retreat,  is  nevertheless  humane  and  hospitably  minded,  and 
offers  to  his  neighbour  and  his  friend,  and  even  to  the  stranger,  an 
ever  welcome  seat  by  his  hearth.  For  he  feels  more  intensely  the 
pleasure  derived  from  the  friendly  glances  of  man,  and  the  refresh- 
ment of  social  intercourse ;  whilst,  on  the  contrary,  the  townsman., 
who  meets  a  multitude  at  every  step,  accustoms  himself  to  view  the 
human  countenance  with  indifference.  When  the  Saxon,  with  his 
hunting-spear  in  his  hand,  had  traversed,  through  snow  and  storm, 
the  wilderness  and  forest,  the  huts  of  his  friends  smiled  hospitably 
towards  him,  like  the  happy  islands  of  a  desert  sea. 

We  shall  enumerate  subsequently  the  individual  tribes  of  both 
branches,  as  well  as  the  others  mentioned  by  the  authors  of  antiquity. 
It  appeared  necessary  to  notice  thus  early  the  chief  distinction 
between  the  German  nations,  for  many  of  the  descriptions  given  by 
the  ancients  of  their  manners  and  customs,  accord  only  with  the  one 
or  the  other  branch,  and  their  apparent  contradictions  are  to  be  ex- 
plained only  by  the  confused  mixture  of  the  information.  Csesar, 
for  example,  notices  chiefly  the  Suevi;  and  Tacitus,  the  Saxon  tribes. 
Yet  in  the  detail  which  we  now  enter  upon,  it  will  be  perceived  that 
the  essential  fundamental  character  of  both  was  the  same. 



The  Germans  loved  the  open  country  above  every  thing.  They 
did  not  build  towns,  they  likened  them  to  prisons.  The  few  places 
which  occur  in  the  Roman  writers  called  towns — the  later  Ptolemy 
names  the  most — were  probably  nothing  more  than  the  dwellings  of 
the  chiefs,  somewhat  larger,  and  more  artificially  built,  than  those  of 
the  common  freemen,  and  in  the  vicinity  of  which  the  servitors 
fixed  their  huts ;  the  whole  might  possibly  have  been  surrounded  by 
a  wall  and  ditch  to  secure  them  from  the  incursions  of  the  enemy. 

The  Saxon  tribes  did  not  even  willingly  build  connecting  villages, 
so  great  was  their  love  for  unlimited  freedom.  The  huts  lay,  as  is 
already  mentioned,  in  the  midst  of  the  inclosure  that  belonged  to 
them,  and  which  was  surrounded  by  a  hedge.  The  construction  of 
these  huts  was  most  inartificial.  Logs  shaped  by  the  axe  were  raised 
and  joined  together,  the  sides  filled  with  plaited  withy,  and  made 
into  a  firm  wall  by  the  addition  of  straw  and  lime.  A  thatched  roof 
covered  the  whole,  which  (as  is  still  found  in  Westphalia)  contained 
the  cattle  also ;  and  by  way  of  ornament  they  decorated  the  walls 
with  brilliant  colours. 

Tacitus  says,  they  selected  their  dwelling  wherever  a  grove  or 
spring  attracted  them.  Advantage  and  comfort  were  consequently 
frequently  sacrificed  to  their  love  of  open  and  beautiful  scenery,  and 
it  is  probable,  that  they  so  ardently  loved  their  country  from  its  pre- 
senting them  with  so  great  a  variety  of  hill  and  dale,  wood  and 
plains,  and  rivers  in  every  part. 

This  strong  love  of  nature,  which  may  be  traced  from  the  very 
first  in  our  forefathers,  is  a  grand  feature  of  the  German  character. 
As  long  as  we  retain  it,  it  will  preserve  us  from  sensual  ener- 
vation and  the  corruption  of  manners,  wherein  the  most  cultivated 
nations  of  antiquity,  by  excess  of  civilization  and  luxury,  and  com- 
pression into  large  cities,  gradually  sunk. 

Next  to  war  the  most  favourite  occupation  of  the  Germans  was 
the  chace;  and  that  itself  was  a  kind  of  warlike  exercise.  For 
the  forests  concealed,  besides  the  usual  deer,  also  wolves,  bears, 
urocks,  bisons,  elks,  wild  boars,  and  many  species  of  the  larger 
birds  of  prey.  The  youth  was,  therefore,  practised  in  the  use  of 
arms  from  childhood,  and  to  him  the  greatest  festival  of  his  life  was 
when  his  father  first  took  him  forth  to  hunt  wild  animals. 

"  Agriculture,  the  herdsman's  business  and  domestic  occupa- 
tions," says  Tacitus,  "  they  leave  to  the  women  and  slaves;  for  it  is 
easier  to  prevail  upon  the  Germans  to  attack  their  enemies  than  to 
cultivate  the  earth  and  await  the  harvest  ;  nay,  it  even  appears 
cowardly  to  them  to  earn  by  the  sweat  of  the  brow,  what  the  san- 
guinary conflict  would  procure."  But  this  description  of  our  fore- 
fathers, as  is  so  often  the  case  with  the  narratives  of  the  Roman 
authors,  represents  the  individual  feature  as  the  general  charac- 
teristic. The  small  proprietor,  no  doubt,  like  our  peasant,  neces- 


sarily  applied  his  own  hand  to  the  cultivation  of  his  land,  while  the 
great  land-owner  reserved  time  for  hunting,  for  festivities,  and  for 
all  the  pleasures  of  social  intercourse. 

And  with  respect  to  the  description  of  their  dominant  warlike 
propensities,  which  preferred  earning  the  necessaries  of  life  by  blood 
rather  than  by  the  sweat  of  the  brow,  this  must  be  understood  to  refer 
more  particularly  to  the  conquering  warlike  trains  of  bold  leaders,  such 
as  an  Ariovistus,  or  to  the  frontier  safeguards  of  the  Germans  against 
the  Romans,  as,  for  instance,  the  Marcomanni.  For  when  once 
amongst  a  nation  agriculture  and  pasturage  have  become  prominent 
occupations,  and  without  which  life  could  not  be  supported,  they 
can  no  longer  belong  to  those  employments  despised  by  the  free 
man,  and  which  as  such  he  leaves  solely  to  the  care  and  attention  of 
women  and  slaves. 

It  is,  however,  no  doubt  true,  that  among  the  Germans  of 
the  more  ancient  period,  warlike  desires,  and  powerful  na- 
tural inclinations  for  bold  undertakings,  and  in  particular  for 
the  display  of  an  untamed  strength  with  its  violent  concomitants, 
were  a  ruling  passion.  But  the  ennobling  features  of  higher  vir- 
tues are  seen  through  these  defects.  History  records  no  people 
who,  in  conjunction  with  the  faults  of  an  unrestricted  natural  power, 
possessed  nobler  capabilities  and  qualifications,  rule  and  order,  a 
sublime  patriotism,  fidelity,  and  chastity,  in  a  greater  proportion 
than  the  Germans.  "  There"  says  the  noble  Roman,  who  had  pre- 
served a  mind  capable  of  appreciating  the  dignity  of  uncorrupted 
nature;  "there  no  one  smiles  at  vice,  and  to  seduce  or  be  seduced, 
is  not  called  fashionable;  for  among  the  Germans,  good  morals  effect 
more  than  elsewhere  good  laws!1 

This  moral  worth  of  the  Germans,  which  beams  through  all  their 
rudeness,  has  its  true  source  and  basis  in  the  sanctity  of  marriage, 
and  the  consequent  concentration  of  domestic  happiness;  for  it  is 
these  two  features  chiefly  which  most  decidedly  determine  the  mora- 
lity of  a  nation.  The  young  man,  at  a  period  when  his  form  had 
taken  its  perfect  growth,  in  the  full  energy  of  youth,  like  the 
sturdy  oaks  of  his  native  forests,  and  preserved  by  chastity  and  tem- 
perance from  enervating  desires,  at  the  time  that  his  physical  and 
moral  nature  had  attained  their  equilibrium,  selected  then  the 
maiden  for  his  wife,  little  differing  in  age  from  himself.  The 
exceptions  were  few,  says  Tacitus,  and  that  only  perchance — as  in  the 
case  of  a  prince,  who  might  wish  to  increase  his  own  importance  by 
an  alliance  with  another  powerful  house — that  a  second  wife  was 

It  was  not  the  woman  who  brought  the  portion  to  the  man,  but 
the  latter  to  the  former,  and  who  indicated  the  value  he  attached  to 
his  alliance  with  her  by  the  quality  of  the  present  he  made,  accord- 
ing to  the  extent  of  his  means ;  and  even  this  custom  displays  the  con- 
sideration the  German  nation  had  for  the  gentler  sex.  The  bridal  gift 
comprised,  besides  a  team  of  oxen,  a  war-horse,  a  shield  and  arms ;  a 


gift  not  useless  among  people  with  whom,  particularly  in  long  excur- 
sions, the  wife,  generally,  accompanied  her  husband  to  the  field.  She 
was  thus  reminded  not  to  consider  valour,  war,  and  arms,  as  wholly 
strange  to  her,  but  these  sacred  symbols  of  the  opening  marriage  told 
her  to  consider  herself  as  the  companion  of  the  labours  and  dangers  of 
her  husband,  in  war  as  well  as  in  peace,  and  as  such  to  live  and  die. 
She  received  what  she  was  bound  to  transfer  uncontaminated  to  her 
children,  and  what  her  daughter-in-law  was  to  inherit  in  turn,  in 
order  to  transmit  to  her  grand-children.  And  this  gift,  as  Tacitus 
savs,  was,  as  it  were,  the  mystic  holy  consecration  and  guardian 
deity  of  marriage. 

Such  an  alliance  founded  upon  love  and  virtue,  and  calculated  to 
continue  for  better  for  worse,  in  firm  union  unto  death,  must  indeed  be 
holy  and  inviolable ;  and  in  fact,  the  infringement  of  the  marriage  vow 
was,  according  to  the  testimony  of  Tacitus,  almost  unheard  of.  The 
deepest  and  most  universal  contempt  followed  a  crime  so  very  rare. 

The  children  of  such  a  marriage  were  to  their  parents  the  dearest 
pledges  of  love.  From  their  very  birth  they  were  treated  as  free 
human  beings.  No  trace  was  to  be  found  in  Germany  of  the  tyran- 
nical power  of  the  Roman  father  over  his  children.  The  mother 
reared  her  infants  at  her  own  breast ;  they  were  not  left  to  the  care 
of  nurses  and  servants.  The  Germans,  therefore,  highly  venerated 
virtuous  women ;  they  even  superstitiously  believed  there  was  some- 
thing holy  and  prophetic  in  them,  and  they  occasionally  followed 
their  advice  in  important  and  decisive  moments. 

This  veneration  for  the  female  sex  in  its  human  dignity,  com- 
bined with  their  strongly  impressed  love  of  arms,  of  war,  and  man- 
hood, this  noble  feature  in  the  German  nature,  which  elevates  him 
so  high  above  the—  in  other  senses,  so  gifted — Greeks  and  Romans, 
shows  most  clearly  that  nature  had  resolved  her  German  son  to  be  the 
entire  man,  who,  by  the  universal  cultivation  of  the  human  powers, 
should  at  some  future  period  produce  an  age,  which  as  now,  in  its 
liberal  and  many-sided  or  multifarious  views,  should  far  surpass  that 
of  the  Greeks  and  Romans. 

The  ancient  German  dress  and  food  were  simple,  and  agreeable  to 
nature.  Female  decoration  consisted  in  their  long  yellow  hair,  in  the 
fresh  colour  of  their  pure  skin,  and  in  their  linen  robes,  spun  and 
woven  by  their  own  hands,  ornamented  with  a  purple  band  as  a  girdle ; 
the  man  knew  no  other  ornament  than  his  warlike  weapons ;  the 
shield  and  his  helmet,  when  he  wore  one,  he  adorned  as  well  as  he 
could.  Among  the  Suevi  the  hair  was  worn  tied  in  a  bundle  on  the 
top  of  the  head  for  the  sake  of  its  warlike  effect.  Among  the  Saxons 
it  was  parted,  and  hung  down  the  shoulders,  cut  at  a  moderate  length. 

Their  simple  fare  consisted  chiefly  of  meat  and  milk.  They  pre- 
pared their  favourite  drink,  beer,  from  barley  and  oats.  They  made 
mead  also  from  honey  and  water.  Their  honey  was  collected  by 
the  wild  bees  in  great  quantity,  and  good  quality.  Upon  the  Rhine 
they  did  not  despise  or  neglect  the  cultivation  of  the  vine  introduced 
there  by  the  Romans. 


No  nation  respected  the  laws  of  hospitality  more  than  the  Germans 
To  refuse  a  stranger,  whoever  he  might  be,  admission  to  the  house, 
would  have  been  disgraceful.  His  table  was  free  and  open  to  all, 
according  to  his  means.  If  his  own  provisions  were  exhausted,  he 
who  was  but  recently  the  host,  would  become  the  guide  and  con- 
ductor of  his  guest,  and  together  they  would  enter,  uninvited,  the 
first  best  house.  There  also  they  were  hospitably  received.  When 
the  stranger  took  his  leave,  he  received  as  a  parting  present  whatever 
he  desired,  and  the  giver  asked  as  candidly  on  his  side  for  what  he 
wished.  This  goodnatured  people  rejoiced  in  presents.  But  they 
neither  estimated  the  gift  they  made  too  highly,  nor  held  themselves 
much  bound  by  that  which  they  had  received  in  return. 

At  these  banquets  the  Germans  not  unfrequently  took  council  upon 
their  most  important  affairs,  upon  the  conciliation  of  enemies,  upon  al- 
liances, and  friendships,  upon  the  election  of  princes,  even  upon  war 
and  peace;  for  the  joyousness  of  the  feast  and  society  opened  the 
secrets  of  the  breast.  But  on  the  following  day  they  reconsidered 
what  had  been  discussed,  so  that  they  might  view  it  coolly  and 
dispassionately;  they  took  counsel  when  they  could  not  deceive,  and 
fixed  their  resolution  when  fitted  for  quiet  consideration. 

During  these  banquets  they  had  also  a  peculiar  kind  of  festival. 
Naked  youths  danced  between  drawn  swords  and  raised  spears ;  not 
for  reward  and  gain ;  but  the  compensation  for  this  almost  rash  feat 
consisted  in  the  pleasure  produced  in  the  spectator,  and  the  honour 
reaped  by  the  display  of  such  a  dangerous  art. 

They  gambled  with  dice,  as  Tacitus  with  astonishment  informs  us, 
in  a  sober  state,  and  as  a  serious  occupation,  and  with  so  much  eager- 
ness for  gain,  that  when  they  had  lost  their  all,  they  hazarded  their  free- 
dom, and  even  their  very  persons  upon  the  last  cast.  The  loser  freely 
delivered  himself  up  to  slavery,  although  even  younger  and  stronger 
than  his  adversary,  and  patiently  allowed  himself  to  be  bound  and 
sold  as  a  slave  ;  thus  steadfastly  did  they  keep  their  word,  even  in  a 
bad  case:  "  they  call  this  good  faith"  says  the  Roman  writer. 


The  entire  people  consisted  of  freemen  and  slaves.  Among  the 
latter  there  seems  even  to  have  been  an  essential  difference.  The 
one  class,  which  may  be  compared  to  the  vassals  pertaining  to  the 
land  of  the  lord  of  the  manor,  and  among  whom  the  freedmeii 
of  Tacitus  may  be  also  reckoned,  received  from  the  land  proprie- 
tor house  and  home,  and  yielded  him  in  return  a  certain  ac- 
knowledgment in  corn  or  cattle,  or  in  the  woven  cloth  which 
was  made  under  every  roof.  The  second  class,  on  the  contrary, 
the  true  slaves,  who  were  bought  and  sold,  and  were  mostly  pri- 
soners of  war,  were  employed  in  the  more  menial  services  of  the 
house,  and  the  labours  of  agriculture.  But  their  lot  even  was  en- 
durable, for  their  children  grew  up  with  those  of  their  master,  with 
scarcely  any  distinction,  and  thus  in  the  simplicity  of  their  living 
there  was  formed  a  relation  of  mutual  adherence.  But  the  slave  was 


held  incapable  of  bearing  arms;  these  were  alone  the  privilege  and  pre- 
rogative of  the  Free-men. 

They  were  divided  into  the  nobles,  nobilcs,  as  Tacitus  calls  them, 
and  the  common  Free-men,  ingenui.  In  later  periods  the  German  lan- 
guage distinguishes  Adelinge  and  Frilinge.  The  former  word  is  pro- 
bably derived  from  Od,  Estate,  and  therefore  denoted  the  large  pro- 
prietor, who  reckoned  in  his  estate  bondsmen  and  vassals,  and  who 
possessed  already  in  his  domains  the  means  of  exercising  a  more  ex- 
tensive influence.  The  Friling  was,  on  the  contrary,  the  common 
free  man,  who  cultivated  his  small  possessions  with  his  own  hands, 
or  by  the  assistance  of  but  a  few  slaves.  If  Tacitus,  as  is  probable, 
indicates  this  distinction  by  his  term  noliles  and  ingenui,  we  may 
therein  trace  the  origin  of  the  German  nobility^  founded  as  it  is  in 
the  nature  of  all  social  relations.  From  the  importance  given  by 
possessions  and  merit,  individual  as  well  as  ancestral,  those  privileges 
may  be  adduced,  which  are  held  over  the  poorer,  unnoticed  families, 
and  which  in  the  course  of  time,  and  as  it  were  by  the  antiquity  of 
possession,  pass  into  rights.  But  the  information  given  by^  Tacitus 
does  not,  however,  speak  absolutely  of  rights, — implying,  for  instance, 
the  offices  of  director  and  president  in  communities  and  districts,— 
but  merely  of  the  custom  of  filling  them  from  the  superior  families. 

A  number  of  farms  of  great  and  small  landowners,  specially  united 
by  close  ties,  constituted  a  community  (Gemeinde)-,  several  commu- 
nities a  league  of  the  hundred  {Markgenossenschafi),  which  exercised 
within  a  larger  circuit  the  common  right  of  herd  and  pasture ;  and, 
lastly,  a  number  of  these  formed  the  larger  confederacy  of  a  district 
(Gau),  formally  united  for  protection  against  every  enemy,  and  for 
internal  security  both  of  life  and  property. 

As  chief  of  the  district,  a  judge  was  elected  from  among  the 
oldest  and  most  experienced,  who  probably  may  have  borne  in  an- 
cient times  the  name  Graf*  Cents  or  hundreds  were  subdivisions 
of  the  district,  probably  consisting  originally  of  a  hundred  farms, 
whose  chiefs  were  the  centners  or  Centgrafen.  These  gave  judgment 
in  trifling  affairs;  and  in  matters  of  more  importance  they  were  the 
assistants  of  the  Gaugrafen.  The  occupation  of  these  functionaries  was 
not  limited  to  their  judicial  employments,  but  they  had  the  guidance 
also  of  other  affairs  in  the  community ;  and  together,  they  formed  the 
Principes  of  the  district,  the  foremost  and  first  amongst  their  equals, 
whence  is  derived  the  German  word  Furst  (prince).  The  recompence 
for  their  trouble  did  not  consist  in  a  regular  stipend,  but  in  presents 
received  from  the  chiefs  of  families. 

But  the  National  assembly  was  at  the  head  of  all,  and  counselled  and 
decided  upon  the  most  important  affairs.  Every  freeman,  high  as 
well  as  low,  was  a  member  of  the  national  assembly,  and  took  his 
part  in  the  welfare  of  the  whole. 

In  earlier  times,  perhaps,  there  never  existed  in  many  circuits,  and 

*  The  derivation  of  the  word  Graf  or  Grav  is  uncertain.  That  from  grau,  gray, 
as  well  as  from  alt,  old,  is  not  tenable. 



during  peaceful  relations,  a  more  extensive  and  firm  confederacy  than 
that  of  the  Gau.     But  danger  from  without,  and  the  relationship 
of  the  septs,  chiefly  produced,  without  doubt,  the  establishment  of 
Unions  of  whole  tribes,  which  may  possibly  have  given  to  their  col- 
lective body  a  form  variously  fashioned.     A  multifariousness  of  so- 
cial regulations  was  welcome  to  the  hereditary  love  of  freedom  of  the 
Germans.      The  majority  of  these  tribes  appear  to  have  had  a  very 
simple  constitution  of  confederacy  in  the  time  of  peace,  inasmuch  as 
all  transactions  in  common  were  determined  and  regulated  by  the 
national  community.     In  the  individual  districts  all  continued  ac- 
cording to  the  customary  mode  of  administration,  and  it  consequently 
did  not  require  the  permanent  appointment  of  a  superior  executive 
government.     In  war,  on  the  contrary,  an  election  was  made,  of  the 
common  Herzog,  or  duke,  according  to  valour  and  manly  virtue, 
whose  office  closed  with  the  war.     (Duces  ex  virtute  sumunt. — Tac.) 
Among  other  tribes  peace  had  also  its  chiefs  or  directors,  selected 
originally  by  the  community  from  the  most  meritorious  of  the  people, 
which  election,  in  the  course  of  time,  when  a  natural  feeling  placed 
the  son  in  the  situation  of  the  father,  became  invested  with  an  al- 
most hereditary  right.     (Reges  ex  nobilitate  sumunt. — TacJ)     We 
cannot  ascertain  whether  these  chiefs  bore  everywhere,  or  merely 
among  some  tribes,  the  title  of  King;  the  Romans  called  them  Reges, 
because  they  found  this  name  most  applicable,  and  in  contradistinc- 
tion to  the  transitory  ducal  dignity,  which  terminated  with  the  war. 
The  king  could  also  naturally  be  the  leader  in  war,  in  which  case 
the  duke  was  superfluous.     But  in  smaller  expeditions,  which  were 
not  to  be  considered  in  the  light  of  a  national  war,  or  when  the 
king,  by  reason  of  age  or  natural  infirmity,  was  unable  to  act,  a 
duke  may  have  been  appointed  as  his  substitute. 

Among  some  tribes  we  see  a  change  of  constitution.  Among 
the  Cherusci,  when  they  fought  against  the  Romans,  there  appears 
to  have  been  no  king  ;  Arminius  was  the  leader  appointed  by  the 
people.  Later,  however,  in  the  year  47  after  the  birth  of  Christ, 
the  Cherusci  appointed  Italicus,  the  son  of  the  brother  of  Flavins, 
who  was  brought  up  among  the  Romans,  to  be  their  king,  in  order 
to  adjust  the  internal  factions. 

The  peculiarity  of  the  Saxon  people  consisted  altogether  in  their 
free  form  of  government,  a  constitution  most  conformable  to  their 
origin,  springing  as  they  did  from  the  union  of  the  heads  of  free 
families,  each  of  whom  ruled  his  domain  according  to  the  ancient 
patriarchal  form.  A  common  general  was  required  only  during  war, 
which,  in  general,  was  defensive,  and  consequently  national.  Among 
the  Suevi,  on  the  contrary,  whose  constitution  was  one  warlike 
throughout,  wherein  the  individual  was  early  accustomed  to  consider 
himself  but  a  portion  of  the  whole,  a  monarchical  government  be- 
came the  natural  form  of  the  constitution,  and  we  consequently  find 
among  them  an  Ariovistus,  a  Marbodius,  and  a  Vannius,  as  kings  of 
a  warlike  state. 


These  differences  may  assist  in  explaining  the  various  charac- 
teristics and  forms  of  the  public  institutions  which  the  Romans 
mention,  and  which  it  is  not  always  easy  to  distinguish,  from  their 
having  confounded  and  mixed  the  individual  details. 

In  the  krger  confederations  there  also  occurred  general  as- 
semblies, although  more  seldom  than  in  the  individual  districts,  and 
much  that  the  Romans  relate  refers  to  these  said  larger  assemblies, 
whilst  on  the  contrary  the  leading  subjects  were  common  to  both 
large  and  small  assemblies. 

These  were  generally  held  at  a  return  of  the  full  moon  and  new 
moon ;  as  they  considered  those  the  most  happy  moments  for  any 
transaction.  They  came  armed — arms  being  the  symbol  of  freedom,  and 
they  preferred  exposing  themselves  to  the  possibility  of  their  misuse, 
rather  than  come  without  them.  The  right  enjoyed  by  the  youth 
of  bearing  them  as  an  ornament  when  he  had  attained  a  fitting 
age,  and  was  adjudged  worthy,  even  in  times  of  peace,  was  im- 
parted by  the  national  assembly  itself ;  he  was  there  solemnly  in- 
vested by  one  of  the  princes,  his  father  or  a  relative,  with  shield 
and  spear.  This  was  deemed  among  them  the  clothing  of  man- 
hood, the  ornament  of  youth ;  previous  to  this  the  youth  was  con- 
sidered only  as  a  member  of  the  domestic  hearth,  but  henceforth  he 
was  received  as  the  representative  of  the  common  fatherland. 

Priests  ruled  the  communities;  God  only  was  the  universally 
feared  lord,  whom  it  was  no  breach  of  freedom  to  obey;  and  in  his 
name  the  priests  kept  the  multitude  in  order.  They  commanded 
silence ;  the  kings,  dukes,  counts,  who  derived  experience  from  years 
— the  nobles,  who  learnt  from  their  ancestors  how  the  district  was 
to  be  governed — the  most  valiant,  who,  by  their  deeds  in  war,  stood 
in  general  respect,  spoke  in  turn  simply,  briefly,  and  impressively,  and 
not  in  a  commanding  tone,  but  by  the  force  of  reason.  If  the  pro- 
position displeased  them,  it  was  rejected  by  the  multitude  with  hisses 
and  murmurs ;  but  if  approved,  they  signified  their  satisfaction  by  the 
clashing  of  their  arms ,  their  most  honourable  mode  of  testifying  applause. 

In  important  affairs,  the  king  and  princes  first  counselled  together, 
prior  to  the  matter  being  brought  before  the  people;  a  custom 
consistent  with  good  government,  for  the  multitude  can  form  con- 
clusions only  upon  a  transaction  being  simply  and  clearly  explained. 

These  few  traits  of  aboriginal  German  institutions  display  the 
sterling  sense  of  our  forefathers,  who  therein  sought  to  establish  the 
principle,  that  the  foundations  of  every  community  should  be  based 
on  individual  good  feeling,  obedience  to  the  laws,  and  respect  for  re- 
ligion. Thus  an  internal  durability  was  given  to  the  whole  structure, 
which  no  external  means  could  replace,  howsoever  artificially  applied. 

We  have  yet  a  word  to  say  upon  the  larger  unions  of  several  tribes. 
In  a  common  danger,  they  formed  themselves  into  a  Confederation,  at 
the  head  of  which  stood  one  of  the  more  powerful  tribes.  Thus  it  was 
with  the  Cherusci  alliance  against  the  Romans;  thus  the  Suevi,  at 
whose  head,  in  earlier  times,  stood  the  Semnoni ;  and  later,  the  confede- 



rations  of  the  Goths,  Franks,  and  Allemanni.  In  all  that  concerned 
the  universal  league,  the  laws  were  very  severe.  The  slightest  breach 
of  faith,  and  treachery  as  well  as  cowardice,  were  punished  by  death. 
Their  principle  was,  "  One  for  all  and  all  for  one,  for  life  or 
death !"  May  this  through  every  century  be  the  motto  of  all  Germans ! 


When  the  nation  was  threatened  by  impending  danger,  or  the 
country  of  the  enemy  was  to  be  invaded  by  a  large  force,  all  the 
freemen  were  summoned  to  arms  by  what  was  called  the  Heerbann* 
The  army  thus  proceeded  under  the  banner  of  the  national  god, 
borne  by  the  priests  in  advance.  The  princes  and  judges  of  each  Gau 
or  district  were  also  its  leaders  in  war;  the  confederates  of  one  mark  or 
hundred,  and  of  one  race  or  sept,  fought  united;  and  when  the  inva- 
sion became  a  regular  migration,  or  when  the  invading  foe  chased  all 
irom  their  hearths,  the  women  and  children  followed  them.  Thus 
was  all  combined  that  could  excite  their  valour ;  each  warrior  stood 
side  by  side  to  his  nearest  relations,  companions,  and  friends,  and  in 
the  rear  of  the  order  of  battle  were  placed  their  wives  and  children, 
whose  appeals  could  not  fail  to  reach  their  ear.  When  wounded,  they 
retired  to  the  matrons  and  females,  who  fearlessly  investigated  and 
numbered  their  wounds.  We  read,  indeed,'  of  the  women  having 
occasionally  restored  a  faltering  battle  by  their  incessant  supplications, 
from  the  dread  of  slavery,  and  even  by  forcing,  with  arms  in  hand, 
the  fugitives  back  to  the  contest. 

Besides  the  general  summons  of  the  Heerbann,  there  was  a  Com- 
panionship in  arms,  founded  upon  a  voluntary  union,  which  was  called 
the  Gefolge,  the  reserve  phalanx  or  sacred  battalion.  Warlike  youths 
collected  themselves  around  their  most  tried  and  esteemed  leader,  and 
swore  in  union  with  him  to  live  and  die.  There  was  much  contention 
among  this  Gefolge  who  should  take  the  first  place  next  to  the  leader,  for 
this  corps  had  its  grades.  It  was  high  fame  for  a  leader,  not  merely 
among  his  own  tribes,  but  among  all  the  adjacent  ones,  when  he  was  dis- 
tinguished by  the  number  and  valour  of  his  Gefolge.  He  was  appealed 
to  for  assistance ;  embassies  were  sent  to  him,  he  was  honoured  by  pre- 
sents, and  the  mere  celebrity  of  his  name  would  frequently  check  a 
war.  In  battle  it  was  considered  a  disgrace  to  the  chief  to  be  outvied 
in  valour,  and  to  the  Gefolge  not  to  equal  that  of  their  leader ; 
but  to  return  alive  from  battle,  after  the  death  of  his  chieftain,  was 
a  stigma  that  attached  for  life  to  the  individual,  and  their  fidelity  was 
so  great,  that  scarcely  an  instance  of  this  occurs.  It  was  considered 
the  most  sacred  duty  to  protect  and  defend  their  brave  brother  in 
arms,  and  to  attribute  their  own  valorous  deeds  to  his  fame.  The 
leaders  contended  for  victory,  and  the  Gefolge  for  the  leaders. 

*  In  the  language  of  the  earlier  times  Heerbann,  (Heribannus?)  the  penalty,  which 
was  inflicted  upon  those  who,  at  the  general  summons  to  the  war,  neglected  their 
duty.  This  word,  however,  for  its  object,  is  at  once  so  usual  and  significant,  whilst 
it  is  so  difficult  to  replace  with  another,  that  it  may  be  here  retained  in  its  original 


When  the  tribe  to  which  they  belonged  continued  in  a  state  of  long  and 
monotonous  peace,  the  majority  of  these  bold  youths,  led  by  their  cap- 
tain, voluntarily  joined  those  tribes  which  were  at  war.  Kepose  was 
hateful  to  them;  and,  amidst  danger,  the  valiant  acquired  fame  and 
booty.  The  Gefolge  received  from  the  leader  their  war-horse,  and 
their  conquering  and  deadly  spear;  a  large  Gefolge,  consequently, 
supported  itself  most  easily  by  war  and  booty.  It  is  thus  that 
Tacitus  describes  the  military  institutions  of  the  Germans.  He 
wrote,  however,  at  a  period  when  long  wars  and  their  attendant 
chances  may  possibly  have  altered  much.  Originally,  perhaps,  the 
alliance  between  the  Gefolge  and  their  chieftain  was  binding  only 
during  single  excursions,  and  ceased  at  their  termination.  For  it  is 
not  probable  that  a  people  so  jealous  of  its  liberty  would  have 
allowed  individual  princes  to  have  surrounded  themselves  with  such 
a  troop,  as  with  a  body-guard.  But  when  the  dangers  of  war  con- 
tinued for  a  longer  period,  it  became  desirable,  and  even  necessary,  to 
be  prepared  for  every  casualty.  The  Gefolge  remained  long  united, 
and  they  formed  the  experienced  and  elite  portion  of  the  army  for 
attack,  defence,  or  pursuit.  In  the  migratory  period,  kingdoms  were 
founded  by  these  Gefolges,  and  from  the  essence  of  their  internal 
organization,  the  laws  sprung  which  regulated  these  new  states 
(feudal  system). 

The  chief  arms  of  the  ancient  Germans  were  the  shield  and  the 
spear,  called  by  them  Framen  (Frameaf r,  with  a  narrow  and  short 
blade,  but  so  sharp  and  well  adapted  for  use,  that  they  could  employ 
the  same  weapon,  according  to  necessity,  both  far  and  near.  Long, 
heavy  lances  are  also  spoken  of  in  the  description  of  many  battles. 
For  close  combat,  the  stone  battle-axe,  which  is  still  frequently  dug 
up,  and  the  common  club,  were  certainly  used.  From  the  scarcity 
of  iron,  few  wore  body-armour,  and  but  here  and  there  a  helmet; 
even  swords  were  scarce,  and  the  shield  was  formed  of  wood,  or  of 
the  plaited  twigs  of  the  withy.  Nevertheless,  it  was  with  these 
simple  weapons  that  they  achieved  so  much  that  was  grand,  inas- 
much as  natural  courage  and  strength  of  limb  effect  more  than  arti- 
ficial weapons. 

Their  horses  were  neither  distinguished  by  beauty  or  speed,  but 
they  were  very  durable,  and  the  Germans  knew  so  well  to  manage 
them  that  they  frequently  overthrew  the  fully-armed  and  mounted 
Roman  and  Gallic  cavalry.  They  held  the  latter  in  contempt  because 
they  used  saddles,  which  appeared  to  them  unmanly  and  effeminate ; 
they  themselves  sat  upon  the  naked  back  of  the  horse.  But  the  chief 
strength  of  their  army  lay^  in  their  infantry,  and  they  placed  the 
boldest  and  strongest  of  their  youth,  mixed  with  their  cavalry,  in  the 
van,  in  order  to  give  an  additional  solidity  to  the  ranks.  The 
cavalry  themselves  selected  their  companions  from  among  the  in- 
fantry, and  thus,  even  in  the  rude  pursuit  of  war,  esteem  and  affec- 
tion exerted  their  influence.  They  thus  held  together  in  the 

*  From/rcrmen,  to  throw. 


tumult  of  the  fight,  and  came  to  each  other's  assistance  when  the 
contest  was  desperate.  If  a  horseman  fell  heavily  wounded  from 
his  steed,  the  foot  soldiers  immediately  surrounded  and  shielded 
him.  When  sudden  and  rapid  movements  either  in  advancing  or 
retreating  were  necessary,  the  quickness  of  those  on  foot,  by  means 
of  incessant  practice,  was  so  great,  that  holding  by  the  main  of  the 
horse,  they  equalled  the  swiftest  in  their  course. 

Their  order  of  battle  was  generally  wedge-shaped,  that  they  might 
the  more  speedily  break  the  ranks  of  the  enemy.  Before  battle 
they  sang  the  war-song  relating  the  deeds  of  their  ancestors  and  the 
celebrity  of  their  fatherland.  Warlike  instruments  also,  horns  of  brass 
or  of  the  wild  bull,  and  large  drums,  formed  of  hides  expanded  over 
hampers,  beat  the  measure  to  their  joined  shields;  and  as  they  pro- 
ceeded they  became  more  and  more  excited.  In  the  march  against  the 
enemy  the  song  became  ruder  and  wilder,  a  courageous  and  stimulating 
cry,  which  was  called  Barrit;  at  first  deep  sounding,  then  stronger 
and  fuller,  and  growing  to  a  roar  at  the  moment  of  meeting  the 
foe.  The  chieftain  felt  excited  with  hope  or  fear,  according  to  the 
louder  or  weaker  tone  of  the  Barrit.  Frequently,  to  make  the  sound 
more  strikingly  fearful,  they  held  their  hollow  shields  before  their 
mouths.  Tliis  terrific  war-song,  combined  'with  the  sight  of  the 
gigantic  figures,  and  the  fearful  threatening  eyes  of  the  Germans 
themselves,  was  so  terrible  in  its  effects  upon  the  Romans  and  the 
Gauls,  that  it  was  long  before  they  could  accustom  themselves  to  it. 

To  leave  their  shield  behind  them  was  to  the  Germans  an  inex- 
piable disgrace ;  he  who  had  so  debased  himself  durst  not  attend  re- 
ligious worship  nor  appear  in  the  national  assembly,  and  many  who 
had  thus  effected  their  escape  from  the  field  of  battle  could  not  en- 
dure so  miserable  a  life,  but  ended  it  by  a  voluntary  death. 


The  religious  worship  of  the  Germans  attached  itself  to,  and  was  as- 
sociated with  nature.  It  was  a  veneration  of  her  great  powers  and  phe- 
nomena; but  withal  it  was  more  simple  and  sublime  than  the  worship  of 
other  ancient  nations,  and  bore  the  impress  of  its  immediate  and  pro- 
found feeling  for  nature.  Although  but  rudely  so,  they  yet  had  the 
prseentiment  of  an  infinite  and  eternal  divine  power  in  their  breasts ; 
for  they  considered  it  at  variance  with  the  dignity  of  the  divinity  to 
enclose  him  within  walls,  or  to  conceive  and  represent  him  in  a  human 
shape.  They  built  no  temples,  but  they  consecrated  to  holy  purposes 
groves  and  woods,  of  which  nature  had  formed  the  pillars,  and  whose 
canopy  was  the  infinite  heaven  itself;  and  they  named  after  their 
divinity  the  mystery  which  their  faith  alone  allowed  them  to  con- 
template. Even  their  aboriginal  poetical  descriptions  of  their  divi- 
nities display  the  nobler  sentiments  of  the  Germans,  who  did  not,  like 
the  Greeks  and  Romans,  attribute  to  their  deities  all  the  infirmities 
of  human  nature,  but  represented  in  them  the  portraiture  of  strength, 
valour,  magnanimity,  and  sublimity.  And  they  still  more  strongly 
distinguish  themselves  from  all  other  ancient  nations  by  their  firm 


and  cheerful  belief  in  the  immortality  of  the  soul,  which  entirely 
dissipated  every  fear  of  death ;  and  in  the  confidence  of  a  future  state 
they  committed  suicide,  when  life  itself  could  be  purchased  only  by 

This  sublime  natural  feeling,  and  this  purity  of  their  religious 
ideas,  made  them,  in  after  times,  better  adapted  for  the  reception  of 
Christianity.  They  were  the  vessel  which  God  had  selected  for  the 
pure  preservation  of  his  doctrines.  For  Jews,  Greeks  and  Romans 
were  already  enervated  by  sensuality  and  vice ;  they  could  neither  com- 
prehend nor  retain  the  new  doctrines,  just  as,  according  to  the  scrip- 
tural image,  the  old  drunkard  could  not  retain  the  new  wine.  The 
ancient  Germans  revered,  like  the  Persians,  the  sun  and  fire;  but  wor- 
shipped as  their  superior  God ,  Wodan,{  Guodan ,  the  Goden ,  Guten ,  Gott). 
They  called  him  also  by  a  beautiful  name,  the  Universal  Father.  They 
kept,  in  their  sacred  groves,  white  horses  for  the  sun,  which  were  har- 
nessed to  the  consecrated  chariot  and  driven  by  the  priest  or  prince, 
who  paid  particular  attention  to  their  neighing,  which  they  consi- 
dered, as  did  the  Persians,  prophetic  of  the  future,  and  indicative  of 
the  will  of  their  divinity. 

They  venerated  the  mother  earth  as  their  most  beneficent  deity; 
they  called  her  Nerthus  (the  nourishing),*  and  we  have  the  fol- 
lowing relation  of  her  worship:  "  In  the  midst  of  an  island  in  the 
seaf  there  was  a  sacred  grove,  in  which  was  a  consecrated  chariot, 
covered  with  tapestry.  Sometimes  (as  noticed  by  the  priests)  the  god- 
dess descended  from  the  sacred  dwellings  above,  and  drove  the  chariot, 
drawn  by  consecrated  cows,  accompanied  by  the  priests  in  the  deep- 
est reverence.  The  days  were  then  cheerful,  and  the  places  which  she 
honoured  with  her  presence,  solemn  and  holy;  they  then  entered 
into  no  war,  seized  no  arms,  and  the  iron  spear  reposed  in  conceal- 
ment; peace  and  tranquillity  then  reigned  in  every  bosom,  until  the 
priests  reconducted  the  goddess,  satiated  with  her  intercourse  with 
mortals,  back  into  the  temple.  The  chariot  and  carpet  were  immersed, 
and  the  goddess  too,  if  we  may  believe  it,  bathed  in  a  secret  lake; 
slaves  performed  the  offices  of  service,  whom  the  same  lake  immedi- 
ately swallowed  up.  Thence  arose  a  mysterious  fear  and  holy  ignorance 
of  what  that  might  be  which  only  those  beheld  who  were  to  die." 

The  Germans  placed  great  faith  in  prophecies  and  indications  of  the 
future,  as  shown  already  in  the  neighing  of  the  sacred  horses  of  the  sun. 
When  they  were  at  war  they  often  selected  a  prisoner  taken  from  their 
enemy,  and  caused  him  to  fight  with  one  of  their  countrymen,  each 
armed  with  his  national  weapons ;  the  victory  of  the  one  or  the  other 
was  received  as  prophetic,  or  as  a  divine  judgment.  They  considered 
the  raven  and  the  owl  as  harbingers  of  evil;  the  cuckoo  announced 
length  of  life.  They  prophesied  of  the  future  also  with  small  staves 
cut  from  a  fruit  tree,  having  peculiar  or  runic  signs  carved  upon  each 
staff,  and  these  were  then  strewed  upon  a  white  raiment.  And  then, 

*  Tacitus,  Germ.  xl. 

f  Much  here  indicates  the  island  to  be  Riigen;  but  there  are  important  grounds  for 


on  public  occasions,  tlie  priest,  but  in  private  the  father  of  the  familyy 
prayed  to  the  divinity,  and,  with  upraised  eyes,  took  up  each  in- 
dividual rod  thrice,  the  characters  upon  which  indicated  the  event. 

The  holy  prophetesses  were  highly  esteemed,  and  history  names 
some  to  whom  the  credulity  of  the  tribes  attached  great  influence  in 
the  determination  of  public  affairs.  Tacitus  names  Aurinia  (per- 
haps Alruna,  conversant  with  the  mystic  runic  characters);  again,  the 
celebrated  Veleda,  who,  from  a  tower  on  the  banks  of  the  Lippe,  di- 
rected the  movements  of  the  tribes  of  the  Lower  Rhine ;  and,  lastly, 
a  certain  Gauna,  in  the  time  of  Domitian.  In  the  incursions  of  the 
Cimbri,  and  in  the  army  of  Ariovistus,  notice  is  taken  of  prophesy- 
ing females. 

There  was  no  ceremony  at  their  funerals;  only  the  bodies  of  the 
most  distinguished  were  burnt  with  costly  wood,  and  with  each,  at  the 
same  time,  were  offered  up  his  arms  or  war  horse.  The  tomb  which 
covered  the  ashes  and  the  bones  of  the  deceased  was  a  mound  of  turf. 
Splendid  monuments  they  despised  as  oppressive  to  their  dead.  La- 
ments and  tears  they  speedily  gave  over,  but  grief  they  indulged  in 
much  longer.  Lamentations  they  considered  as  appropriate  to  females, 
but  to  men  Remembrance  alone  was  deemed  suitable. 


Should  we  after  all  that  has  preceded,  inquire  concerning  the  pro- 
gress made  by  the  ancient  Germans  in  the  arts  of  life,  we  shall  find 
upon  that  subject  the  information  of  the  Roman  writers  unfortu- 
nately very  scanty.  Looking  down  from  the  point  of  their  very 
superior  culture,  they  did  not  consider  it  worth  their  trouble  to 
attend  to  the  origin  of  the  arts,  trades,  and  knowledge,  found 
among  those  nations  which  they  considered  as  barbarians.  This 
silence  has  misled  to  the  supposition,  that  the  Germans,  about  the 
period  of  the  birth  of  Christ,  were  to  be  considered  as  half  savages, 
resembling  the  North  American  Hurons.  But  history  may,  where 
she  finds  no  express  testimony,  draw  conclusions  from  uncontested 
facts.  Therefore  we  can,  with  certainty,  infer  that  about  the  time, 
and  shortly  after  the  birth  of  Christ,  the  Germans — who  in  arms  and 
warlike  skill  could  contest  with  an  enemy  who  had  acquired  in  a  war 
of  five  hundred  years,  with  all  the  nations  of  the  earth,  the  highest  grade 
in  the  art  of  Avar  and  consequent  subjugation;  these  Germans,  who 
had  already  far  advanced  in  their  civil  institutions ;  to  whom  marriage 
and  the  domestic  hearth,  and  the  honour  of  their  nation,  and  their  an- 
cestors, were  sacred ;  who  in  their  religious  symbols  displayed  a  deep 
feeling  for  the  most  profound  ideas  of  the  human  mind ;  and  who, 
lastly,  by  a  dignified  natural  capacity,  and  exquisite  moral  traits,  in 
spite  of  the  undeniable  ferocity  of  unbridled  passions,  were  enabled 
to  inspire  that  noble  Roman,  in  whom  dwelt  a  deep  sense  of  all  that 
was  great  and  elevated  in  human  nature — these  Germans,  we  say,  could 
not  have  been  the  rude  barbarians  described  as  resembling  North  Ame- 
rican savages.  Their  cultivation,  as  far  as  their  wild  life  and  dis- 


persed  mode  of  dwelling  admitted,  advanced  to  a  degree  worthy  of 

Agriculture  and  pasturage  united,  consequently  a  regulated  and 
settled  rural  economy,  pre-supposes  the  use  of  the  necessary  imple- 
ments, howsoever  simple  they  might  be.  The  German  made  them 
himself.  The  iron  necessary  for  that  purpose,  as  well  as  for  his 
weapons,  he  must  have  known  how  to  work,  and  the  manipulation 
of  hard-melting  iron  is  not  easy;  presuming  they  were  only  able  to  use 
that  which  lay  upon  the  surface  without  understanding  or  practising 
the  art  of  mining.  Yet  Tacitus  names  iron-mines  among  the  Goths, 
in  the  present  Silesia.  That  the  preparation  of  iron  utensils  must 
indicate  already  a  higher  degree  of  skill  in  art,  in  the  earliest  ages 
of  nations,  is  shown  by  the  very  frequent  use  of  copper  in  such  in- 
struments for  which  iron  is  much  better  adapted.  Copper  is  much 
easier  to  manufacture. 

In  the  irruptions  and  battles  of  the  Germans,  namely,  among  the 
Cimbri  and  Teutoni,  chariots  and  cars  are  named,  which  conveyed 
the  women  and  children,  and  which  were  placed  around  to  defend 
the  camp.  The  Germans  appear  also  upon  their  rivers,  and  upon 
the  coasts  of  their  seas  in  ships,  and  contest  also  with  the  Romans  in 
naval  battles.  Tribes  which  could  build  structures  of  this  descrip- 
tion, need  no  longer  be  considered  savage. 

The  art  of  spinning  and  weaving  is  also  not  possible  without  compli- 
cated machinery,  and  this  formed  the  daily  occupation  of  the  females. 

Although  the  art  of  building  houses  was  not  carried  to  any 
extent,  yet  the  towers  or  burgs  of  the  superior  classes,  some  of  which 
are  mentioned  in  the  records  of  history,  must  have  been  essentially 
different  from  the  huts  of  the  community ;  and  that  walls  of  stone 
were  used  in  their  construction,  we  may  infer  from  the  subterranean 
excavations  in  which  provisions  were  preserved,  and  wherein  the 
women  generally  wove  their  linen,  and  which  must  therefore  have 
been  walled  in. 

Trade  and  commerce  were  not  foreign  to  the  ancient  Germans ; 
they  were  even  acquainted  with  that  pivot  of  all  commerce,  a  general 
medium  of  barter — money.  Tacitus  remarks  that  they  knew  well 
how  to  distinguish  the  old  good  coins  of  the  Romans,  and  took  silver 
in  preference  to  gold  in  their  retail  transactions.  The  great  multi- 
tude of  Roman  coins,  which  by  degrees  have  been  dug  out  of  the 
German  earth,  proves  that  their  commercial  intercourse  was  not 
trifling,  although  much  may  have  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  Ger- 
mans as  booty  upon  the  defeat  of  the  Romans.  Arminius,  before  the  bat- 
tle of  Idistavisus,  offered  to  every  Roman  deserter  daily  200  sesterces. 

Their  music  was  no  doubt  limited  to  their  war-song,  and  the  rude 
warlike  instruments  previously  named,  and  to  the  heroic  song  at 
festivals.  German  antiquity  had  without  doubt  its  inspired  singers, 
equally  as  the  Greeks  had  their  Homerides ;  the  testimony  of  Tacitus 
tells  us  so,  and  the  inclination  of  the  people  for  all  that  was  great, 
and  worthy  of  fame,  as  it  evinces  itself  in  their  deeds,  would  even, 
without  that  testimony,  have  convinced  us. 


It  has  been  disputed  whether  the  Germans,  about  the  time  of  the 
birth  of  Christ,  had  a  written  character.  ^  Tacitus  expressly  says, 
that  neither  men  nor  women  understood  writing  (literarum  secreta 
viri  pariter  ac  feminse  ignorant. —  Germ.  19).  And  although  this 
passage  might  be  interpreted  in  a  more  restricted  sense,  were  there 
express  witnesses  to  the  contrary  extant;  still,  for  the  want  of  them, 
it  is  sufficiently  conclusive  of  the  ignorance  of  writing  among  the 
ancient  Germans.  There  are,  indeed,  letters  mentioned  of  Mar- 
bodius  and  Adgandaster,  a  prince  of  the  Chatti,  to  Rome;  but  these 
were  certainly  written  in  Latin,  and  only  prove,  if  they  were  written 
by  the  princes  themselves,  that  the  upper  classes,  who  had  inter- 
course with  the  Romans,  and  perhaps  lived  a  long  time  in  Rome 
itself,  learnt  there  the  Roman  art  of  writing.  The  people  generally, 
however,  were,  without  doubt,  ignorant  of  the  art. 


The  seats  of  the  Saxon  tribes  are  already  generally  stated  in  the 
fourth  division ;  the  following  are  the  names  and  situations  of  the 
individual  septs : 

1.  The  Sigambri,  a  considerable  tribe  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the 
Sieg,  whence  they  probably  derived  their  name;  and  farther  in- 
wards towards  the  mountainous  districts  of  Westphalia,  which  was 
called,  later,  the  Siiderland,  or  Sauerland.     Cassar  found  them  here 
about  the  year  56,  and  Drusus  in  the  year  12,  before  the  birth  of 
Christ,  at  which  time  their  domain  extended  as  far  as  the  Lippe. 
Weakened  by  the  attacks  of  the  Romans,  to  whom  they  were  most 
exposed,  a  portion  of  them  were  driven  by  Tiberius  to  the  left  bank 
of  the  Rhine,  as  far  as  its   mouths,  as  well  as  that  of  the  Issel; 
another   portion   remained  in   their   ancient   dwelling-places,   and 
fought  with  the  Cherusci  against  Germanicus.     In  the  subsequent 
centuries,   the   name   was   retained   only   by  that   portion   which 
dwelt  at  the  mouths  of  the  Rhine,  and  which  constituted  the  Salic 
Franks,  and  formed  a  leading  tribe  in  the  confederation  of  the 

2.  The  Usipetri  and    Tenchferi,  almost   always  neighbours,  and 
sharing   the   same   casualties.      Driven   by   the  Suevi,   about  the 
year  56  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  from  their  original  seat,  probably 
in  the  Wetterau  (the  district  between  the  Maine,  the  Rhine,  and 
the  Lahn),  farther  towards  the  north,  they  were,  upon  their  cross- 
ing the  Rhine,  beat  back  again  by  Caesar,  and  partly  destroyed.     The 
remainder  were  received  by  the  Sigambrians;  and  in  the  time  of 
Drusus,  the  Usipetrians  dwelt  north  of  the  Lippe,  on  the  Rhine. 
But  the  Tenchterians  had  already,  about  the  year  36  before  the 
birth  of  Christ,  when  the  Ubierians  were  driven  to  the  left  bank  of 
the  Rhine,  occupied  their  domain  upon  its  right  bank,  so  that  both 

*  Claud.  Claudianus  (about  400  years  after  the  birtli  of  Christ)  de  ir.  Cons. 
Honor.  449;  Gregory  of  Tours,  ii.,  31 ;  and  others.  Clovis,  on  being  baptized,  was 
addressed  by  the  Bishop  Remigius:  mitis  Sicamber. 


the  tribes  became  again  neighbours,  and  dwelt  in  the  duchy  of 
Berg  and  in  a  portion  of  Cleves.  Finally,  the  Tenchterians  appear 
to  have  formed  a  portion  of  the  Franks.* 

3.  The  Brukteri,  a  powerful  tribe  in  the  country  north  of  the 
Lippe,  as  far  as  the  more  central  Ems,  and  from  the  vicinity  of  the 
Rhine  near  the  Weser,  consequently  more  properly  in  the  present 
Munster  land,  and  some  of  the  approximate  districts.  According  to 
the  most  recent  investigations,  the  country  in  the  south  of  the  Lippe, 
as  far  as  the  mountains  of  Sauerland,  therefore,  the  so-called  Hellweg, 
is  considered  a  portion  of  the  country  of  the  Brukterians.  They 
were  divided  into  larger  and  lesser  bodies,  took  an  active  part 
as  the  confederates  of  the  Cherusci,  in  the  war  of  freedom  against 
the  Romans,  and  they  received  as  their  booty,  after  the  battle  with 
Varus,  one  of  the  three  conquered  eagles.  About  the  year  98  after 
the  birth  of  Christ,  in  an  internal  war  with  their  neighbours,  they 
were  almost  annihilated,  so  that  Tacitus  divides  their  domain  be- 
tween the  Chamavrians  and  the  Angrivarians.  But  this  account  is 
certainly  exaggerated,  as  their  name  occurs  in  Ptolemy  much  later 
in  the  same  district ;  and  even  afterwards  they  appear  as  a  portion 
of  the  Frankish  confederation.  After  the  alliance  of  the  Saxons  had 
more  and  more  widely  extended  itself  towards  Westphalia,  the 
country  and  tribe  of  the  Brukterians  became  equally  included 
therein ;  but  whether  by  force  of  arms,  or  by  alliance,  is  not  to  be 
decided.  The  Brukterians  may  possibly  have  derived  their  name 
from  the  marshes  (brlichen)  in  their  country. 

4.  The  Marsi,  neighbours  of  the  Brukterians,  also  present  them- 
selves as  active  enemies  of  the  Romans,  about  the  time  of  the  birth 
of  Christ.    In  the  battle  with  Varus  they  seized  an  eagle,  which  Ger- 
manicus  afterwards  reconquered;  and  this  same  leader  commenced 
his  campaign  against  Lower  Germany,  in  the  year  14  after  the  birth 
of  Christ,  by  an  incursion  from  Vetera  Castra  (near  Xanten)  through 
the  Csesian  forest,  into  the  land  of  the  Marsi,  in  which  he  destroyed 
the  celebrated  sanctuary  of  Tanfani.     These  events  show  us  the 
Marsi  as  a  Westphalian  tribe,  dwelling  not  far  from  the  Rhine. 
Beyond  this,  we  cannot  determine  with   certainty  their  dwelling 
place,   and  antiquarians   consequently  entertain  different   opinions 
with  respect  to  it.     Some  place  them  on  the  Lippe,  others  eastward 
of  the  Ems,  towards  Tecklenburg  and  Osnaburg,  which  latter  is 
the  most  probable.     The  sanctuary  of  Tanfana,  which  has   been 
sought  for  in  different  places,  and  among  the  rest  near  Miinster, 
would,  therefore,  henceforth  be  considered  to  lie  in  the  land  of 

5.  The    Tubanti,  likewise   neighbours  of  the  Brukterians,    are 
placed  by  some  in  the  country  between  Paderborn,  Hamur  and  the 
Arnsberg  forest  (the  Soester  Borde};  by  others,  and  with  greater  pro- 
bability, on  the  opposite  side  of  the  country  of  the  Brukterians,  north- 

*  Gregory  of  Tours,  ii.t  9. 


west  of  the  Rhine,  and  the  Vechte,  the  Twente  of  the  present 

6.  Southward  of  the  Tubanti,  on  the  Rhine,  dwelt  the  Chamavi, 
and  bordered  farther  southward  on  the  Usipetrians,  to  whom  they 
had  yielded  a  portion  of  the  pasturage  on  the  Rhine  and  the  Issel, 
even  before  the  time  of  Drusus.     About  the  year  98  after  the  birth 
of  Christ,   they   deprived  the  Brukterians  of  a  portion  of  their 
country,  and  they  appear  later  as  forming  a  part  of  the  confedera- 
tion of  the  Franks.    In  the  middle  ages,  their  domain  was  called 
the  Hamaland.     Ptolemy  mentions  the  Chamavi,   as  well  as  the 
Cherusci,  at  the  foot  of  the  Harz  mountains,  but  which  former  were 
probably  a  very  different  tribe. 

7.  The   Ansibari   or   Amsivarians,    northward    from  the  Bruk- 
terians on  the  Ems  (thence  called  Emsgauer  or  Emsbauer).     In  the 
year  59  after  the  birth  of  Christ,  a  portion  of  them  were  driven 
away  by  the  powerful  Chauci;  they  long  sought,  in  vain,  another 
dwelling  among  the  neighbouring  tribes,  and  they  at  last  vanish 
among  the  Cherusci.     A  portion,  however,  must  have  remained  in 
their  ancient  dwelling  place,  as  they  appear  later,  forming  part  of  the 
Prankish  confederation. 

8.  The    Chasuari  and    Chattuari  were,  according  to  some,  two 
tribes,  the   first   of  which  dwelt  upon  the  Haase,  northward  of  the 
Marsi,  and  were  thence  called  Hasegauer,  but  the  latter  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Ruhr,  where  the  Gau  or  district  Hatterun  gave  testimony  of  them 
in  the  middle  ages;  but,  according  to  others,  they  were  but  one 
tribe,  which  had  their  dwelling  northward  of  the  Chatti,  on  the 

9.  The  Dulgibini  are  placed,  with  probability^  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  Weser,  perhaps  precisely  in  the  district  of  the  Lippe, 
where  the  legions  of  Varus  were  destroyed,  and  where  the  name  still 
exists  on  the  heath  of  Dolger.     In  a  stricter  sense  they  belonged  to 
the  confederation  of  the  Cherusci.     Ptolemy  places  them  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Weser;  therefore,   they  very  probably  occupied 
both  -its  banks.     In  this  neighbourhood  Ptolemy  also  names  Tu- 
lisurgium,  perhaps    wrongly  copied  for    Teutiburgium,  in  the  vici- 
nity of  Detmold,  and   Tropcea  Drusi,  the  monument  of  the  vic- 
tory of  Drusus  on  the  Weser,    perhaps  in  the  neighbourhood  of 

The  following  are  some  other  places,  mentioned  by  Ptolemy,  in 
Westphalia,  unfortunately  without  indicating  the  domain  wherein 
they  were,  and  which  are,  consequently,  very  variously  referred  to  by 
antiquaries : 

a.  Bogadium — Miinster,  according  to  some,  but  according  to  others, 
Bochold,  or  also  Beckum;   according  to  Ledebur,  Beckum  on  the 
Lippe,  upon  the  great  Roman  road  between  Vetera  and  Aliso. 

b.  Mediolanium — Also  supposed  to  be  Miinster,  but  now,  pro- 
bably, Metelu  on  the  Vechte. 

c.  Munitium  —  is    either  Osnaburg,   the  Castle  Ravensberg,  or 
Stromberg  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Miinster. 


d.  Stereontium — Warendorf,   Stromberg,    Steinfort  or  Steveren, 
all  in  the  land  of  Munster. 

e.  Amasia — probably  the  same  place  as  the  Amisia  of  Tacitus,  the 
hold  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Ems,  not  far  from  its  estuary,  which 
was  built  by  Drusus. 

f.  Ascalingium,  near  Minden  on  the  Weser. 

g.  With  respect  to  Aliso,  the  castle  built  by  Drusus,  in  the  second 
year  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  at  the  confluence  of  the  Aliso  and 
the  Lippe,  according  to  the  information  of  Dio  Cassius,  opinions  are 
so  far  unanimous  that  it  was  situated  upon  the  upper  Lippe,  not  very 
far  from  the  entrance  of  the  Teutoburgian  forest.      The  majority 
again  have  decided  for  Elsen,  near  Paderborn,  not  far  from  the  con- 
fluence of  the  Alme  and  the  Lippe ;  the  most  recent,  very  careful 
investigation  of  Ledebur,  however,  has  raised  it  to  the  highest  pro- 
bability that  Aliso  lay  in  the  present  parish  or  district  of  Liesborn, 
in  the  space  which  is  formed  between  the  junction  of  the  Liese  and 
the  Glenne,  and  that  of  the  Glenne  and  the  Lippe,  near  the  reli- 
gious foundation  of  Cappeln. 

h.  Arbalo — where  Drusus  was  pressed  hard  by  the  Germans,  upon 
the  frontiers  of  the  country  of  the  Cherusci,  Sigambri,  and  Chatti, 
was,  very  probably,  between  Niihden  and  Gesecke,  where  the  Haar 
mountains  gradually  dwindle  into  the  plains  of  the  Hellweg,  and 
where  in  the  Middle  Ages  a  Gau  or  district,  Arpesfeld,  was  situated. 
The  syllable  ending  with  lo  in  the  name,  implies  &  forest;  Feld,  in 
contradistinction  to  Wald,  indicates  old  forest  land  made  arable. 

Close  to  the  left  bank  of  the  Weser,  beyond  the  Dulgibini,  dwelt 
also  the  remaining  smaller  tribes  of  the  confederation  of  the  Cherusci ; 
and  on  the  opposite  side  of  this  river : 

10.  The  Cherusci  themselves,  the  most  celebrated  Germanic  tribe 
of  ancient  times,  when  in  their  most  flourishing  state.  About  the 
period  of  the  birth  of  Christ  they  possessed  an  extensive  domain, 
but  of  which  it  cannot  be  exactly  stated  how  much  was  properly 
their  own  hereditary  land,  and  how  much  of  the  land  belonged  to 
their  more  closely  attached  confederates,  who  are  often  called  by  the 
Romans,  oiF-handedly,  Cherusci.  This  domain  extended  from  the 
Harz,  its  centre,  eastward  as  far  as  the  Saale  and  the  Elbe,  north- 
ward nearly  as  far  as  the  Aller,  westward  as  far  as  the  Weser,  and 
southward  as  far  as  the  Werra  and  the  Thuringian  forest.  From 
the  time  of  Drusus  to  the  generalship  of  Varus,  in  the  twenty  years 
during  which  the  Romans  were  almost  settled  in  Lower  Germany, 
and  already  spoke  of  a  Roman  province,  the  Cherusci  were  on 
friendly  terms  with  them;  the  sons  of  their  princes  entered  the 
Roman  armies,  Augustus  had  a  German  body  guard,  and  all  seemed 
peaceable.  But  under  Varus  the  Cherusci  placed  themselves  at  the 
head  of  almost  all  the  tribes  between  the  Rhine  and  the  Weser ;  the 
smaller  tribes,  particularly  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Weser,  united  them- 
selves with  them,  whom  the  Romans  often  called  clients  of  the  Cherusci, 
naming  them  often  absolutely  Cherusci,  whence  has  arisen  the  error 


that  the  Cherusci  dwelt  on  both  sides  of  the  Weser.  Later,  when 
Arminius  went  forth  against  Marbodius,  the  Longobardi  and 
Semnoni,  their  powerful  neighbours  in  the  East,  united  themselves 
with  them.  But  after  the  death  of  Arminius  the  superiority  of  the  Che- 
rusci diminished.  They  became  enervated  in  a  protracted  state  of  inac- 
tivity, and  were  by  degrees  so  weakened  by  the  Longobardi,  Chauci, 
and  Chatti  tribes,  that  the  shadow  alone  of  their  former  greatness  re- 
mained. Once  again  only  does  their  name  appear  as  a  constituent 
portion  of  the  confederation  of  the  Franks.  Ptolemy  mentions  in  their 
domain  Lupia  or  Lupta,  now  Eimbeck,  Callagri,  Halle  on  the  Saale, 
Brieurdium,  Erfurt. 

With  the  Cherusci  sank  also  their  confederates,  viz. : 

11.  The  Fosi  on  the  Fuse,  or  Brunswick  of  the  present  day, 

12.  The  Angrivari,  on  both  sides  of  the  Weser,  below  Minden, 
the  neighbours  and  faithful  confederates  of  the  Chauci,  with  whom 
they  appear  again  later  as  a  constituent  portion  of  the  Saxon  con- 
federation under  the  name  of  Engern.     The  Saxon  district  on  the 
Weser  was  called  Angaria. 

13.  The  Chauci  dwelt  on  the  Baltic,  from  the  estuary   of  the 
Ems  to  the  Elbe,  surrounding  the  Weser,  by  which  they  were  di- 
vided into  the  greater  and  the  lesser  classes.*     Pliny,  who  had  per- 
sonally visited  their  country,  sketches  a  melancholy  picture  of  the  in- 
habitants on  the  coast :  "  The  ocean,  twice  a  day,"  he  says, "  overflows 
an  extensive  district,  and  produces  a  constant  contest  in  nature,  so  that 
we  must  continue  doubtful  whether  to  call  this  part  land  or  sea. 
The  miserable  natives  dwell  upon  the  hills  of  the  coast,  or  rather 
heaps  of  earth,  thrown  up  by  the  hand  upon  the  margin  of  the 
highest  side.     They  dwell  there  at  flood  tide  like  mariners,  and  at 
its  ebb  like  shipwrecked  beings.     The  fish  driven  hither  by  the  sea 
they  catch  with  nets  of  reeds  and  sea-grass.   They  have  no  cattle,  and 
do  not,  like  their  neighbours,  feed  upon  milk.     They  are  not  allowed 
even  to  hunt  for  game,  for  not  a  shrub  grows  near  them.     The  turf, 
secured  by  hand,  they  dry  more  in  the  air  than  in  the  sun,  where- 
with to  cook  their  food,  and  thereby  to  warm  their  bowels  frozen  by 
the  north  wind.     They  have  no  other  drink  than  rain  water,  pre- 
served in  holes ;  and  yet  had  these  tribes  been  conquered  by  the 
Romans,  they  would  have  called  themselves  slaves !"     Tacitus,  on 
the  contrary,  who  had  more  in  view  the  extensive  tribe  of  the  Chauci 
in  the  interior  of  the  country,  celebrates  them  as  the  most  consider- 
able tribe  of  the  Germans,  peaceably  minded  and  yet  warlike  and 
valiant.     They  were  long  the  faithful  allies  of  the  Romans,  who  fre- 
quently traversed  their  country,  against  the  tribes  on  the  more  central 
Weser,  probably  emanating  in  an  original  feud  with  the  Cherusci. 
Indeed,  in  the  reign  of  Nero  they  pressed  hard  upon  the  Wehrmanni 

*  Their  name  appears  to  have  been  derived  from  the  nature  of  their  country; 
kauken,  quaken,  means,  in  the  vulgar  language,  to  quake;  and  the  marshy  ground 
of  the  country  quakes  under  the  feet.  Quakenbruck  still  retains  the  original  de- 


of  the  Cheruscian  alliance — the  Ansibarians,  and  spread  themselves 
so  far  towards  the  south,  that  Tacitus  makes  them  even  extend  as 
far  as  the  Chatti.  In  the  third  century  they  devastated  Gaul  in  the 
reign  of  the  Emperor  Didius  Julianus,  and  at  last  they  disappear 
under  the  confederate  name  of  Saxons. 

Ptolemy  mentions  some  of  the  towns  of  the  Chauci :  Tuderium, 
probably  Meppene;  Thuliphardum,  Verden;  Phabiranum,  Bremen 
or  Bremenvbrder ;  Leuphana,  Liineburg,  and  others. 

14.  The   Frisi,  on  the  Baltic,  from  the  mouths  of  the  Rhine, 
to  the  Ems,  allies  of  the  Romans  in   the  German  wars.     In  the 
fourth  and  fifth  centuries   they  again  appear   in  the   Saxon  alli- 
ance, and  even  embark  with  these  for  Britain.*    The  Romans  call  the 
island   Borkum,    Burchana,  and  Ameland,   Austeravia,    on   their 
coast,  and  in  their  country :  Fleum  or  Flevum,  on  the  Dollart. 

15.  The  Saxo7is,  afterwards  so  important,  are  first  mentioned  by 
Ptolemy  in  the  middle  of  the  second  century  as  inhabitants  of  the 
present  Holstein.     They  were  skilful  sailors,  and  in  the  fourth  and 
fifth  centuries  became  dreaded  from  their  piracies.     Tacitus  and 
Pliny  do  not  name  them,  probably  because  they  comprise  them 
under  the  name  of  Cimbri.     We  shall  speak  further  on  of  the  con- 
federation they  founded  and  called  by  their  name. 

16.  The  Cimbri  remained  for  many  centuries  after  their  great 
irruption,  with  which  our  history  begins,  still  in  their  old  dwelling- 
place,  called  the  Cimbrian  peninsula,  styled  the  present  Jutland; 
Strabo  expressly  says,  "  they  still  dwelt  in  their  old  seat."f 

Between  the  Saxon  and  Suevic  septs  is  found  one  of  the  most 
remarkable  of  the  German  tribes,  which  appears  to  belong  to  neither 
side  ;  viz., 

The  Chatti  or  Katti,  in  high  probability  the  Hessians  of  the 
present  day  (Chatten,  Chassen,  Hessen).  They  frequently  came  in 
contact  with  the  Romans,  upon  whom  they  bordered,  and  are  often 
named  by  them.  Caesar  himself  even  knew  them,  for  the  Suevi, 
against  whom  he  defended  the  Uberians,  and  whom  he  threatened 
by  his  passage  across  the  Rhine,  must,  according  to  the  locality  of 
the  dwelling-place,  have  been  the  Chatti.  They  even  then,  probably 
belonged  to  the  great  Suevic  confederation.  Tacitus,  on  the  con- 
trary, expressly  separates  them  from  the  Suevi,  and  we  may,  therefore, 
most  rightly  consider  them  as  a  self-dependent  tribe,  forming  a 
separation  between  the  two  great  tribes,  the  Suevi  and  Saxons.  At 
the  time  of  these  great  wars  under  Augustus,  their  country  was 
often  visited  by  the  Romans ;  but  in  the  age  of  Tacitus,  after  the 
entire  reduction  of  the  Cherusci,  their  domain  seems  to  have 
acquired  its  greatest  extent,  for  they  spread  themselves  from  the 
neighbourhood  of  Hanau,  and  where  they  bordered  upon  the  Roman 
tithe-land  beyond  the  Spessart  and  the  mountains  of  the  Rhine  as  far 

*  Procop.  Goth.  iv.  20.  f  Geogr.  vii.,  2,  i. 


as  tlie  Thuringian  forest,  and  towards  the  south-west  as  far  as  the 
Franconian  Saale,  then  towards  the  north,  somewhat  beyond  the 
country  where  the  Werra  and  Fulda  join,  and  north-west  as  far  as 
the  heights  of  the  Wester  forest. 

Tacitus  celebrates  the  Chatti  especially  for  their  valour  and  pru- 
dent management  of  war.  Their  infantry  was  the  best  of  all  the 
Germans.  They  were  more  accustomed  than  all  the  rest  to  disci- 
pline and  order,  and  knew  how  to  form  defensive  camps ;  besides, 
they  were  large-formed,  powerful,  and  fearless,  and  their  warlike 
glance  was  intimidating.  "  They  can  all  fight,"  says  Tacitus,  "  but 
the  Chatti  alone  know  how  to  conduct  a  war ;  and  what  is  very  rare 
in  savage  nations,  they  depend  more  upon  their  leader  than  upon 
the  army.  Good  fortune  they  reckon  amongst  the  casual,  valour 
amongst  the  certain  things"  Their  youths  allowed  their  hair  and 
beard  to  grow  long,  and  they  wore  an  iron  ring  upon  their  arm,  the 
sign  of  minority,  until  a  slain  enemy  proved  their  manliness ;  over 
whose  body,  and  captured  arms,  they  freed  their  face  from  the 
abundance  of  hair,  and  only  then  first  boasted  of  having  paid  the 
reward  for  their  tenure  of  life,  and  of  being  worthy  of  their  father- 
land and  ancestors. 

At  a  later  period  the  Chatti  joined  the  extensive  confederation  of 
the  Franks. 

The  ancient  metropolis  of  the  Chatti  was  Mattium,  which  many 
consider  to  be  Marburg;  but  it  is  probably  the  present  village 
Maden,  near  Gudensberg,  on  the  river  Eder. 

The  Mattiaci,  a  branch  of  the  Chatti,  which,  in  the  expeditions 
of  Drusus  and  Germanicus,  appear  only  under  this  latter  name,  but 
by  Tacitus  are  called  by  their  individual  name,  dwelt  between  the 
Lahn  and  the  Maine,  as  far  as  the  Rhine,  therefore  in  the  present 
Nassau.  The  Romans  located  themselves  very  early  in  their  country, 
constructed  defences  upon  the  Taurus  mountains,  and  treated  the 
Mattiaci  as  a  conquered  tribe.  In  the  revolt  of  Civilis  they  took 
a  part,  and  invested  Mentz.  Subsequently,  their  name  disappears, 
and  the  Allemanni  occupy  their  land.  Pliny  mentions  warm  springs 
here,  which  he  calls  Fontes  Matiaci,  doubtless  Wiesbaden,  where 
many  remains  of  Roman  buildings,  baths,  &c.,  have  been  found;  and. 
Arctaunum,  the  Roman  fort  upon  the  heights  near  Homburg,  of 
which  traces  are  yet  extant.  Ptolemy  names  also  Mattiacum,  pro- 
bably the  present  Marburg. 


1.  The  Semnoni  are  called  by  Tacitus  the  most  ancient  and  con- 
siderable among  the  Suevi ;  and  Ptolemy  fixes  their  seat  between  the 
Elbe  and  the  Oder,  in  the  southern  part  of  Brandenburg,  and  in 
the  Lausitz  as  far  as  the  Bohemian  frontiers.  It  is  said  that  in 
their  country  the  sanctuary  of  the  confederation  was  a  holy  grove, 
wherein  the  confederate  sacrifices  were  solemnized.  They,  conse- 
quently, appear  to  have  stood,  in  more  ancient  times,  in  peculiar  re- 


gard  among  all  the  Suevic  tribes.  After  the  second  century  of  the 
Christian  era,  however,  their  name  does  not  again  occur  in  the  an- 
nals of  history;  of  the  causes  for  this  disappearance,  we  are  ignorant. 

2.  The  Longobardi,  few  in  number,  but  the  most  warlike  of  all 
the  Suevi.    They  dwelt,  when  history  first  becomes  acquainted  with 
them,  about  the  period  of  the  birth  of  Christ,  westward  from  the  middle 
Elbe,  opposite  the  Semnoni  in  the  Alt-Mark  and  Liineburg  districts, 
where  the  name  of  the  city,  Bardewik,  the  villages  of  Barleben  and 
Bartensleben,  and  the  Bardengau,  still  preserve  their  recollection. 
They  thence  spread  to  the  eastern  banks  of  the  Elbe,  as  far  as  the 
Havel.    Under  Arminius,  they  fought  against  Marbodius,  but  subse- 
quently they  assisted  to  wards  the  reduction  of  the  Cherusci,  who  appear 
to  have  been,  for  a  period,  in  a  certain  degree  of  dependancy  on  them. 
Ptolemy  gives  them,  in  the  second  century,  a  very  extensive  do- 
main, from  the  Elbe  over  the  country  of  the  Cherusci,  the  Tubanti, 
and  Marsi,  as  far  as  the  Rhine.     They  may  possibly,  if  Ptolemy's 
relation  be  true,  have  made  successful,  but  short  invasive  expeditions. 
History  then  becomes  silent  concerning  them,  until  towards  the  end 
of  the  fifth  century,  when  they  appear  upon  the  Danube,  in  Hun- 
gary ;  and  in  the  sixth,  they  establish  their  kingdom  in  Italy.  They 
derived  their  name,  according  to  their  ancient  legend  (as  handed  down 
of  king  Rothari),  from  their  long  beards,  but  according  to  others, 
from  their  Hellebarden  or  Halberts;  more  probably,  however,  from 
their  dwelling-place,   on  the  borders  of  the  Elbe,  where  a  tract  of 
land  is  still  called  the  long  Borde,  or  fruitful  plain.     Ptolemy  names 
Mesuium  among  them,  perhaps  the  present  Magdeburg. 

3.  Northwards  from  the  Longobardi  and  Semnoni,  in  the  present 
Lauenburg,    Mecklenburg,  and  Pommerania,  dwelt,   according  to 
Tacitus,  the  Suevic  tribes  of  the  Varini,  Angeli,  Reudiugi,  Avioni, 
JEudosi,  Suardoni,  and  Nuithoni;  but  little  known  or  remarkable.   We 
have  already  referred  to  their  common  worship  of  the  goddess  Nerthus. 

The  name  of  the  Varini  reminds  us  of  the  river  Varne,  in  Meck- 
lenburg; and,  indeed,  Ptolemy  mentions,  in  their  domain,  a  series  of 
towns,  which,  according  to  his  geographical  determination,  are  com- 
prised in  the  district  on  the  north  of  the  Elbe,  from  Hamburg  as 
far  as  the  estuary  of  the  Varne.  Hamburg  itself  appears  under  the 
name  of  Marionis ;  Liibeck  under  that  of  Marionis  Alter  a.  Lad- 
bur  gium  may  be  Wismar,  and  Alistus,  Schwerin. 

The  Angeli,  neighbours  of  the  Varini,  appear  later  in  union  with 
the  Saxons,  with  whom  they  seem  to  have  joined  themselves,  in  the 
vicinity  of  Silesia  and  upon  the  neighbouring  islands ;  then  in  England, 
which  has  preserved  their  name  nobly  down  to  the  present  day. 

On  the  coasts  of  the  Baltic,  extending  farther  towards  the  east, 
Tacitus  names  a  series  of  tribes,  which  he  refers  to  the  Suevic 
race.  Perhaps  we  may  recognize  in  them  a  third,  namely,  the 
Gothic,  and  we  therefore  quit,  for  the  present,  that  direction,  to 
turn  ourselves  towards  the  undisputed  Suevic  tribes  in  the  interior 
of  Germany.  Here  first  we  meet  : 



4.  The  Hermunduri.     The  information  of  the  dwelling-places  of 
this  tribe,  which,   besides,  is  named  by  almost  all  the  writers  who 
mention    the    Germans,    from    Veil.  Paterculus    to    Dio    Cassius 
(with  the  exception  of  Ptolemy),  is  very  contradictory,  but  which  mav, 
perhaps,  be  owing  to  their  frequent  change  of  locality.      Tacitus  is 
acquainted  with  them  as  the  friends  and  neighbours  of  the  Romans 
on  the  northern  shore  of  the  Danube,  whence  they  stood  with  the 
Romans  in  a  peaceful  commercial  intercourse,  namely,  in  the  capital 
of  Rho3tia,  Augusta  Vindelicorum,  Augsburg,  and  he  makes  them 
contend  with  theChatti,  on  the  Franconian  Saale,  for  the  possession  of 
the  salt  springs,  so  that  their  domain,  consequently,  stretched  between 
the  Danube  and  the  Maine,  across  the  present  Franconia.    They  had 
arrived  here  about  the  time  of  the  Christian  era,  when  the  Marco- 
manni,  under  Marbodius,  were  moving  towards  Bohemia.     They 
were  received  by  the  Roman  general,  Domitius  jEnobarbus.  Thence 
arose  their  friendship  with  the  Romans.     They  probably  dwelt,  pre- 
viously,  farther  north-eastward,  in  the  Franconian  and  Bohemian 
mountains,  as  far  as  the  Elbe.     The  Hermunduri,  from  the  middle 
of  the  second  century,  appear  only   under  the  collective  name  of 
Suevi;  and  it  is  they,  probably,  who,  carrying   it  farther  to  the 
south-west,  have  preserved  and  brought  it  down  to  the  present  day 
under  the  name  of  Swabians. 

Ptolemy  mentions,  in  the  present  land  of  Franconia,  Segodunum, 
perhaps  Wiirzburg;  Bergium,  Bamberg;  Menosgada,  Baireuth,  &c. 

5.  The  Nariski,  in  the  Upper  Palatinate,  between  the  Hermun- 
duri and  the  Marcomanni. 

6.  The  Marcomanni,  the  most  important  of  the  southern  Suevic 
tribes,  or  perhaps,  more  properly,  the  advanced  Wehrmannei  of  the 
Suevic  confederation  against  the  Gauls,  and  later,  against  the  Ro- 
mans— thence  called  mark  or  frontier-men —  guarded  the  boundaries 
of  Germany  between  the  Rhine,  the  Maine,  and  the  Danube.  Upon 
the  increasing  weakness  of  the  Gauls,  they  endeavoured  to  make 
conquests  in  the  country  of  their  enemies.     Ariovistus  was,  accord- 
ing to  all  probability,   a  Marcoman.     History  will  inform  us  how 
about  the  commencement  of  the  Christian  era,  they,   under  Mar- 
bodius, advanced,  in  front  of  the  Romans,  towards  Bohemia;  and 
how,  subsequently,  they  became  the  terrific  enemies  of  the  latter. 
Their  name  disappears  in  the  migration,  probably  merging  in  that 
of  the  Suevi,  under  which  collective  name  they  may  have  wandered, 
with  other  Suevic  tribes,  to  Spain. 

7.  The  Quadi,  the  most  south-eastern  Suevic  tribe,  seated  upon 
the  Danube,  in  Austria  and  Moravia,  as  far  as  the  river  Grau,  in 
Hungary,  where  they  joined  the  Sarmatian  tribe  of  the  Jazygi. 
They  lived  in  peace  with  the  Romans  until  the  great  Marcomannic 
war,  under  Mark  Aurelius,  in  which  they  took  a  share.     From  this 
time  they  always  remained  the  enemies  of  the  Romans.     In  the  fifth 
century,  their  name  likewise  disappears,  and  merges  in  that  of  the 
Suevi,  among  whom  they  are  again  mentioned  in  Spain.     Ptolemy 


names  many  towns  in  their  country,  as  a  great  commercial  road  led 
from  Camuntum,  Pressburg,  through,  the  land  of  the  Quadi,  and  by 
this  means  conveyed  life  and  spirit  into  it.  We  name  only  Phurgi- 
satis,  Condor gis,  and  Philecia,  probably  Znaim,  Briinn,  and  Ohniitz. 

8.  Behind  these,  towards  the  east,  ancient  writers  mention  the 
names  of  many  other  tribes,  without,  however,  giving  more  particular 
information  about  them,  or  even  being  able  to  state  precisely  that 
they  were  of  German  origin.     Thus  it  is  with  the  Gothini  and  Osi, 
in  the  mountains  which  border  upon  Moravia  and  Bohemia,  running 
towards  Upper  Silesia,  of  whom  Tacitus  himself  says,  that  the  for- 
mer spoke  the  Gallic,  and  the  latter  the  Pannonian,  accordingly,  the 
Sarmatiaii  tongue. 

The  Marsingi,  are  mentioned  by  Tacitus  alone ;  according  to  whom, 
their  dwelling  place  seems  to  have  occupied  a  portion  of  Lower  Silesia, 
eastwards  from  the  Riesengebirge.  It  is,  however,  doubtful  whe- 
ther the  Marsingi  of  Tacitus  were  not  a  branch  of  the  Vandals.  In 
the  district  of  the  abovementioned  tribes,  belong  many  of  the  names  of 
towns  which  occur  in  Ptolemy;  viz.,  Strevinta,  in  the  vicinity  of 
Neisse ;  Casurgis,  in  that  of  Glatz. 

9.  ThsZgrov,  a  powerful  union  of  tribes  in  the  eastern  portion  of 
Silesia,  and  in  that  part  of  Poland  which  is  inclosed  by  the  elbow 
of  the  Vistula,  from  its  source  as  far  as  Bromberg.     Tacitus  con- 
siders  them,    perhaps   rightly,  as    Suevi,  although  their   manners 
and  mode  of  life  partake  much  of  that  of  their  savage  Sarmatian 
neighbours,  on  which  account  several  modern  historians  class  them 
with  the  Sclavonic  tribes.       They  belonged,  when  we  first  hear  of 
them,  to  Marbodius'  confederation  of  tribes,  and  their  alliance  with 
the  Marcomanni  and  Hermunduri,  seems  to  have  continued  even 
much  later.  In  the  third  century,  they  appear  with  the  Burgundians 
on  the  Rhine,  and  are  defeated  by  the  Emperor  Probus.*     The  chief 
stem,  however,  which  remained  behind,  probably  attached  itself 
at  the  time  of  the  great  migration,  to  the  Goths,  the  name  being  no 
longer  mentioned. 

Among  the  Lygian  tribes,  Tacitus  names  the  Ari,  the  Helve- 
coni,  Manimi,  Elysi,  and  Naharvali;  his  Buri  also,  which  he  does 
not  join  to  the  Lygian  union,  belonged  probably  to  it;  they  dwelt 
at  the  sources  of  the  Oder  and  the  Vistula.  Tacitus  describes  the 
Ari  as  the  most  powerful,  but  also  the  most  savage  of  the  Lygians. 
They  painted  their  shields  black,  coloured  their  bodies,  selected  dark 
nights  for  their  battles,  and  excited  terror  in  their  enemies  by  the  fear- 
ful and  almost  infernal  appearance  of  their  ghastly,  death  -like  ranks. 

In  the  country  of  the  Naharvali,  there  was  a  sacred  grove,  where- 
in a  youthful  pair  of  twins,  similar  to  Castor  and  Pollux,  were  wor- 
shipped under  the  name  of  Alcis,  and  were  attended  by  a  priest  in 
female  raiment.f 

The  whole  domain  of  the  JSlyst,  who  dwelt  probably  in  Silesia, 

*  Fosimus  i.,  67. 

f  Tacitus  calls  it  the  Sanctuary  or  deity  Alcis,  probably  the  Gothic  Alhs. 

D  2 


and  perhaps  gave  its  name  to  the  principality  of  Oels,  was  certainly 
traversed  by  a  Roman  commercial  road,  which  is  proved  by  the 
many  Roman  coins  that  have  been,  and  still  continue  to  be  found 
buried  there  in  the  earth. 

In  the  great  Lygian  domain,  Ptolemy  mentions  many  names  of 
towns  ;  among  others,  Budorgis,  probably  Ratibor ;  Lygidunum, 
Liegnitz;  Calisia,  Kalisch,  £c. 

10.  The  Goths.  Tacitus,  who  only  knew  the  Suevi  and  non- 
Suevi  among  the  German  tribes,  considers  this  tribe  also,  which  he 
calls  Goths,  as  Suevi.  Pliny,  on  the  contrary,  who  makes  a  fivefold 
division  of  the  tribes,  regards  them  as  belonging  to  the  stem  of 
the  Windili,  namely,  to  that  of  the  Vandals.  That  the  tribes  of  this 
stem  dwelt,  collectively,  in  the  extreme  east  of  ancient  Germany,  these 
two,  as  well  as  the  rest  of  the  ancient  authors  who  mention  their  names, 
are  in  opinion  unanimous.  Later  history  finds  many  of  these  tribes 
likewise  in  combination,  or,  at  least,  acting  under  the  same  impulses 
and  towards  the  same  purpose ;  and  it  was  by  them  that  the  first  grand 
blow  was  struck  against  the  Roman  colossus.  If,  therefore,  nothing 
decided  can  be  said  upon  these  obscure  relations,  to  the  elucidation  of 
which  the  light  of  history  is  wholly  wanting,  it  will  not  be  objection- 
able, but  rather  contribute  to  the  easier  survey  of  this  manifold  mix- 
ture, if  we  here  collect  these  tribes  together,  as  belonging,  probably, 
to  a  third  chief  stem,  allied  to  the  Suevi,  which,  with  Pliny,  we  may 
call  the  Vandalian,  or,  according  to  the  title  of  the  later  principal 
tribe,  the  Gothic  branch. 

a.  The  true  Goths,  or  Gothones,  were  known  to  Pytheas,  about 
the  year  300  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  on  the  Amber-coast,  near 
the  estuary  of  the  Vistula.     Tacitus  places  them  beyond  the  Lygi, 
therefore  still  on  the  Vistula,  but  no  longer  extending  to  the  sea; 
for  on  the  coast  he  names  the  Rugi  and  the  Lemovi.     Ptolemy, 
nearly  fifty  years  later,  places  them  likewise  on  the  Vistula,  in  the 
interior  of  the  country,  and  mentions,  by  name,  the  Venedi,  or 
Wendi  upon  the  coast.     We  may  thence  conclude  that,  even  at  this 
period,  the  great  movement  of  the  Wendian  and  Sclavonian  nations, 
from  the  north-east  towards  the  south-west,  had  already  commenced, 
whereby  the  Germans  were  impelled  forward  in  the  same  direction. 
At  the  beginning  of  the  third  century,  we  already  find  the  Goths 
again  farther  southward,  namely,  in  Dacia,  where  they  fixed  them- 
selves.    At  this  time,   also,  they  appear  divided  into  two  great 
branches,  the  Ostro-Goths  and  Westro-Goths,  or  East  and  West- 
Goths.     Their  progress  and  fate,  at  the  time  of  the  great  migration, 
will  be  further  related  in  the  history  itself. 

As  single  tribes,  the  Gepidi,  Mosogothi,  Therwingi  and  Greuthungi 
are  named  as  branches  of  the  Gothic  stern,  upon  whose  affinity  and 
position  towards  each  other  a  variety  of  opinions  are  still  maintained. 

b.  The  Burgundians  are  placed  by  Pliny  at  the  head  of  the  Van- 
dal stem,  but  they  are  not  named  by  Tacitus.     Ptolemy  points  out 
as  their  dwelling-place  the  country  between  the  Oder  and  Vistula, 


where  the  Netze  and  the  Warthe  flow.  Driven  by  the  Gepidi  from 
this  district,  a  portion  of  them  turned  towards  the  north  and  located 
themselves  upon  the  island  Bornholm  (Burganda-holm)  between 
Sweden  and  Denmark ;  but  the  greater  portion  drew  off  to  the  south- 
west, attacked  Gaul,  were  beaten  back  by  the  Emperor  Probus,  dwelt 
for  a  space  of  time  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Maine,  then  upon  the  upper 
Rhine,  and  received  from  the  Roman  governor,  Aetius,  at  the  be- 
ginning of  the  fifth  century,  a  dwelling-place  in  the  south-east  of 
Gaul,  where  their  name  still  continues.  In  their  ancient  domain 
Ptolemy  names  the  city  Ascaucalis,  where  Bromberg  now  exists. 

c.  The  Rugi  are  placed  by  Tacitus  on  the  Baltic ;  he  attaches  close 
to  them  the  Lemovi,  who  are  mentioned  by  no  one  else,  and  who 
do  not  even  again  appear  in  the  great  migration.  The  name  of  the 
Rugi  survives  in  the  island  of  Riigen  and  some  neighbouring  places 
Tacitus  does  not  enumerate  them  among  the  tribes  who  took  part  in 
the  Nerthus  worship  on  the  isle  of  Riigen ;  but  it  was,  perhaps,  after 
the  age  of  Tacitus  that  they  spread  themselves  so  wide  towards  the 
west,  and  gave  its  name  to  the  island  Riigen,  with  which  he  was  un- 
acquainted. At  the  time  of  the  great  migration  they  appear  in  the 
army  of  Attila,  when  he  advanced  against  the  Gauls ;  after  his  death 
they  settled  themselves  upon  the  northern  banks  of  the  Danube  in 
Austria  and  Hungary,  which  country  was  called  Rugiland;  and, 
shortly  afterwards,  Odoacer,  king  of  the  Heruli,  Rugi,  Sciri,  and 
Turcilingi  (he  being  sometimes  called  by  one  and  sometimes  by  the 
other  of  these  titles,  although  by  birth  a  Scirian),  came  forth  and  des- 
troyed, in  the  year  476,  the  west  Roman  empire.  The  said  four  named 
tribes  were,  according  to  all  probability,  closely  allied,  originating  from 
the  vicinity  of  the  Baltic,  between  the  Vistula  and  the  Oder ;  and  who, 
after  several  separations  and  a  variety  of  adventures,  of  which  isolated 
notices  occur  in  history,  are  again  found  united  under  Odoacer.  The 
Herulians  are,  next  to  the  Rugi,  the  most  remarkable.  They  ap- 
pear as  a  portion  of  the  great  kingdom  of  the  Ostro-Gothic  king, 
Hemanrich,  and  form,  after  Attila's  death,  a  powerful  empire  on  the 
banks  of  the  Danube,  at  last  vanishing  on  different  sides,  after  en- 
countering the  most  adventurous  fortunes.*  A  portion  seems  to  have 
united  itself  into  a  nation  with  the  Bojoarians  or  Bavarians. 

d.  The  Vandals  appear  as  an  individual  tribe  in  Dio  Cassius  only, 
who  calls  the  Riesengebirge  the  Vandalian  mountains,  whence  the 
Elbe  has  its  source,  and  we  indeed  find  upon  its  north-east  side  the 
original  dwelling-place  of  the  Vandalian  tribes.  We  have  already 
noticed  that  the  Wendili  race  of  Pliny  is  the  Vandalian,  and  that 
Tacitus  speaks  really  of  the  Vandalian  as  received  by  some  others ; 
later  writers  expressly  say,  that  the  Vandals  were  of  the  same  stem  as 
the  Goths,  had  a  similar  appearance,  the  same  laws  and  institutions. 
We  shall  further  relate  their  history  at  the  period  of  the  migration. 
Tacitus  does  not  allow  his  country  of  the  Suevi  to  end  with  the 
coasts  of  the  Baltic  only,  as  far  as  the  estuary  of  the  Vistula,  but 

*  Procop.  de  bell.  Goth,  ii.,  11  and  12. 


conveys  his  readers  to  the  JEstyi,  on  the  Amber  coasts.  They, 
according  to  their  manners  and  dress,  were  Suevi,  but  approached 
nearer  to  the  Britons  by  their  language.  They  zealously  cultivated 
grain,  and  collected  amber,  which  they  called  hesum  (glass),  and 
received  with  astonishment  the  high  price  Roman  luxury  offered 
for  it.  Tacitus  describes  amber  very  distinctly  and  rightly. 

12.  Also,  on  the  other  side  of  the  Baltic,  in  the  present  Sweden, 
according  to  him,  are  found  Suevi,  viz.:  the  Suioni.  "Equally 
strong,"  says  Tacitus,  "  by  their  fleets  as  by  their  men  and  arms, 
kings  rule  over  them  with  unlimited  power.  Beyond  the  Suioni 
there  is  another  sea,  calm  and  almost  motionless.  It  is  believed 
that  this  sea  limits  the  earth,  from  the  circumstance  that  the  last 
dying  splendour  of  the  setting  sun  continues  until  its  rise,  and  so 
brightly,  that  it  obscures  the  stars."  Thus  it  is  evident  that  they 
had  intelligence  of  the  Polar  circle.  Tacitus  also  seems  to  hint  at 
the  great  northern  lights,  by  citing  the  tradition  that  particular  rays 
are  seen  in  the  skies,  and  tones  heard  at  the  same  time.  To  the 
Suioni  are  attached  the  races  of  the  Sitoni,  over  whom  a  woman 
reigns.  "  Thus  far,"  says  Tacitus,  "  they  are  not  only  degenerated 
from  freedom,  but  fallen  into  slavery.  Here  is  the  end  of  the  Suevi." 

That  the  Swedes  are  of  German  origin,  may  be  considered  as  de- 
cided, and  that  they  were  closely  related  to  the  Goths  is  extremely 
probable.  The  name  of  the  island  Gotland,  and  many  other  names 
in  Sweden,  corroborate  this.  The  Gothic  historian,  Jordanis,  de- 
scribes the  Goths  as  having  migrated  and  shipped  themselves  direct 
from  Scandia  (Scandinavia,  the  general  name  given  by  the  ancients 
to  the  northern  countries),  and  settled  on  the  banks  of  the  Vistula. 
But  what  he  states  assumes  more  the  form  of  heroic  tradition  than 
a  history  of  his  people;  and  it  may  be  received  as  equally  correct, 
that  the  Goths  passed  over  to  Sweden  from  our  coasts. 


In  the  west,  the  Rhine  was  not  properly  the  boundary  of  the 
German  tribes,  but  many  of  them  had  passed  over  it  already,  before 
the  period  of  the  birth  of  Christ,  and  had  located  themselves  on  its 
left  bank.  To  these  belonged : 

1.  The  Vangioni,  the  Nemeti,  and  the  Triboci,  in  the  district  on 
the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine  from  Bingen,  below  Mentz,  as  far  as 
Breisach.  In  their  domain  are  many  towns,  which  either  owe  their 
origin  or  enlargement  to  the  Romans;  viz.,  Monguntiacum,  Mentz, 
an  ancient  Gallic  city  in  the  country  of  the  Vangioni;  under  the 
Romans  an  important  citadel.  Already,  in  the  year  70  after  the 
birth  of  Christ,  the  22d  legion,  which,  on  returning  from  the  con- 
quest of  Jerusalem,  was  quartered  in  this  place,  brought  with  them 
probably,  and  introduced  Christianity  there.  Bonconica,  Oppen- 
heim;  Borbetomagus,  Worms;  Noviomagus,  chief  seat  of  the  Nemeti, 
Spires;  Taberna,  Rheinzabern;  Argentoratum,  Strasburg,  in  the 
country  of  the  Triboci,  containing  the  chief  arsenal  throughout  Gaul. 


2.  The  Ubi  dwelt  earlier  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine,  but 
were  so  hard  pressed  by  the   Suevi,  that  they  applied  to  Julius 
Cassar  for  help,  and  after  he  had  procured  them  peace  for  a  short 
time,  they  allowed  themselves,  in  the  year  36  before  the  birth  of 
Christ,  to  be  transplanted  to  the  left  bank  by  the  Roman  general  Vis- 
panius  Agrippa.     They  were  always  the  faithful  allies  of  the  Ro- 
mans.    Their  country  commenced  at  the  confluence  of  the  Nahe 
with  the  Rhine,  and  here  was  founded  Bingiune,  Bingen,  the  first 
seat  of  their  domain;    further,  Bontobrice,   Boppart;    Confluentes, 
Coblentz;  Antunnacum,  Andernach;  Bonna,  Bonn;  on  the  opposite 
side,  as  a  bridge  head  or  sconce,  built  by  Drusus,  was  established 
Gesonia,  the  present  village  Geusen ;   Colonia  Agrippina,  Cologne,  a 
chief  city  of  the  Romans  on  the  Rhine,  named  after  the  daughter 
of  Germanicus,  and  consort  of  the  emperor  Claudius,  Agrippina,  who 
was  born  in  this  city  of  the  Ubi,  and  in  the  year  50,  after  the  birth 
of  Christ,  sent  hither  a  colony  of  veterans  in  order  to  distinguish 
her  birth-place.     Constantine  also  caused  a  bridge  to  be  built  here 
over  the  river,  the  remains  of  which  are  still  to  be  seen  at  low  water ; 
on  the  right  side  was  Divitia,  the  present  Deutz,  the  bridge  head. 
Novesium,    Neuss;    Gelduba,   (often   named  by  the  Romans),  the 
present  village  Gelb,  near  the  little  town  of  Uerdingen. 

3.  The  Gugerni,  northwards  from  the  Ubi,  commencing  not  far 
from  Gelduba,  down  the  Rhine  to  where  the  Waal  divides  itself  from 
it.      Places:  Asciburgium,  Asburg,  near  Meurs;     Vetera  (castra), 
Xanten  or  Bliderich,  opposite  Wesel. 

4.  The  Batavi  and  Canninefati,  both  of  the  Chattic  race  were, 
according  to  Tacitus,  driven  from  their  country  by  a  revolt,  and 
settled  themselves  near  the  mouth  of  the  Rhine,  in  that  part  of 
the  land  surrounded  by  water,  which  was  called  the  island  of  the 
Batavians.     They  were  allies  of  the  Romans  until  they  revolted 
under  Civilis  in  the  year  70,  after  the  birth  of  Christ.     In  their 
domain   lay   Lugdunum,   Ley  den;     Ultrajectum,    Utrecht;    Novio- 
magus,  Nimwegen. 

Besides  these  tribes  there  were  several  others  in  the  Trans-Rhenish 
countries  who  had  formerly  wandered  thither,  and  were  still  proud  of 
their  German  origin,  as  if  the  celebrity  of  their  race  separated  them 
from  a  connexion  with,  and  a  resemblance  to  the  weak  and  cowardly 
Gauls.  The  chief  among  them  were  the  Treviri,  with  the  capital 
Augusta  Trevirorum,  the  present  Treves,  the  most  important  city 
of  the  Roman  empire  in  our  northern  countries;  and  the  Nervi, 
between  the  Meuse  and  the  Scheldt. 

The  south  of  the  Danube  was  no  longer  inhabited  by  the  pure  Ger- 
man tribes,  but  such  as  had  become  mixed  with  Gallic  and  other 
emigrants.  The  Danube  may  be  considered  as  the  boundary  of  Ger- 
many at  that  period,  and  the  Roman  provinces  on  its  southern  side 
from  Switzerland  to  beyond  Carinthia,  and  Carniola,  were  called: 
Helvetia,  Rhetia,  Vindelicia,  Noricum  and  Pannonia. 



But  more  important  for  the  ancient  geography  of  our  country  is 
the  consideration  of  the  southern  part  of  Germany,  from  the  Rhine 
downwards  beyond  the  Maine,  according  to  others  still  further  north- 
wards, and  which  was  called  the  Roman  titheland,  (agri  decumates). 
From  these  districts  the  Germans,  pressed  hard  by  the  superiority  of 
the  Romans,  who  threatened  them  from  the  Rhine  and  the  Danube, 
had  retired  more  and  more  into  the  interior — amongst  the  rest  the 
Marcomanni  especially — and  the  Romans  considering  the  land  now 
as  a  portion  of  their  own  provinces,  allowed  Gallic  and  other  colonists 
to  cultivate  it,  upon  the  payment  of  a  tithe.  Thence  the  country 
which  was  now  considered  as  a  frontier  or  foreland  against  the  barba- 
rians, received  its  Roman  name ;  and  as  such  it  was  already  known  to 
Tacitus.  To  secure  it  from  the  predatory  irruptions  of  the  Germans, 
a  long  line  of  fortresses,  walls,  ditches,  walls  with  towers,  and  other 
defences,  were  by  degrees  constructed,  the  traces  whereof  by  un- 
wearied research  have  been  discovered  in  the  whole  of  the  south 
and  middle  of  Germany,  so  that  we  are  enabled  to  follow  these 
Roman  frontier-defences  almost  uninterruptedly. 

Their  commencement  is  found  in  considerable  remains  of  defen- 
sive works,  three  miles  beyond  Ratisbon,  near  the  influx  of  the 
Altmlihl  into  the  Danube.  The  intrenchment,  well  known  to  the 
natives  under  the  name  of  the  Devil's  Wall  and  the  moat  of  piles, 
runs  from  here,  for  twelve  miles  uninterruptedly,  towards  the  north- 
west, sometimes  raised  three  or  four  feet  above  the  ground,  then 
again  south-west  and  west  into  Wurtemberg,  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
Neckar,  and  at  the  distance  of  some  miles  from  this  river  constantly 
northward,  as  far  as  the  Oden  forest.  This  wall  was  built  of  a  stone 
found  in  the  earth  near  the  spot,  and  at  every  half  league  was  almost 
regularly  provided  with  towers.  If  here  and  there  perhaps  the  traces 
of  the  fine  have  become  indistinct,  we  soon  again  meet  with  them 
more  perfect.  In  the  Oden  forest  we  only  discover  the  ruins  of  solitary 
towers  more  distinctly  marked;  and  it  is  highly  probable  that  here, 
where  there  was  such  an  abundance  of  wood,  they  were  connected  by  a 
fence  of  piles,  or  a  row  of  pallisades,  all  traces  of  which  have 
naturally  disappeared.  But  if  we  follow  the  remains  of  these  isolated 
fortifications,  we  find  at  last  that  near  Obernburg  and  eastward  from 
AschafTenburg,  the  line  joins  on  the  Maine,  after  it  has  completed 
from  the  Danube  onwards  a  distance  of  nearly  two  hundred  miles. 

Northward  from  the  Maine,  the  traces  of  the  line  are  very  slight, 
yet  it  traverses  Hanau  and  Darmstadt,  to  the  north  of  the  Nidda, 
where  the  moat  of  piles  begins  to  be  again  visible,  and  runs  past  Butz- 
bach  towards  Homburg.  Here  lies  the  Salburg,  probably  the  fort  or 
citadel  of  Arctaunum,  erected  by  Drusus  on  the  Taunus  mountains. 
In  this  part  the  frontier  wall  is  twenty  feet  high,  and  closed  in  by 
trees  as  old  as  the  forest  itself.  It  runs  over  the  whole  of  the 
Taunus  mountains,  then  through  the  latter  on  the  right  bank  of  the 


Rhine,  as  far  as  the  Ems,  and  thence  again  over  mountain  and  through 
forest  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Neuwied.  Its  traces  are  lost  be- 
hind the  Seven  mountains.  This  Roman  boundary  line  extended  no 
doubt,  as  far  as  the  Sieg,  near  Siegburg,  perhaps  also  still  farther 
northwards.  Tiberius,  at  least,  according  to  Tacitus,  built  a  border 
wall,7ewi<w,  also  in  the  Csesarean  forest;  but  no  trace  of  any  connexion 
between  this  and  the  southern  defences  has  been  discovered.  It  is 
clear  that  even  under  the  later  emperors,  the  defensive  works  were 
constantly  being  extended,  until  the  repeated  irruptions  of  the  Al- 
lemannic  hordes  destroyed  them.  At  the  commencement  of  the 
fourth  century  the  Allemanni  were  in  possession  of  the  former* 

As  Roman  colonies  within  the  boundary  line  of  defences,  besides 
those  in  the  north  already  mentioned,  the  following  are  further  cited : 

1.  Castellum  Valentiniani,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Manheim. 

2.  Civitas  Aurelia  Aquensis,  called  also  merely  Aquce,  the  present 
Baden;  it  is  not  cited,  it  is  true,  in  Roman  authors,  but  from  inscrip- 
tions that  have  been  found,  it  is  at  least  clear  that  a  Roman  gar- 
rison and  baths  were  here,  already  at  the  end  of  the  second  century. 

3.  Tarodunum,  near  Friburg,  in  Breisgau,  where  the  Mark  or 
boundary,  Zarten,  is  still  found. 

4.  Ara  Flavia,    Rotweil,    together   with  several    others.      The 
whole  titheland  is  full  of  the  remains  of  Roman  buildings,  forts, 
citadels,  and  temples,  bridges,  streets,  towers,  pillars,  and  baths. 




486  A.D. 


B.  C.  113—6,  A.  D. 

The  Cimbri  and  Teutoni,  113-101  B.C. — Caesar  and  Ariovistus,  58  B.C. — Julius  Caesar 
on  the  Rhine — Commencement  of  the  great  German  Wars — Drusus  in  Germany 
— Marbodius,  King  of  the  Marcomanni. 

THE  Roman  and  Greek  writers  who  give  information  upon  this 
period  of  our  history,  have  already  been  mentioned  at  the  commence- 
ment of  the  Introduction.  In  addition  to  those,  we  may  include 
here  the  subsequent  chronicles  of  Prosper  and  his  continuators,  Marius 
especially,  Idacius  and  Marcellinus,  which  are  collected  together 
by  Roncallius,  in  his  "  Vetustiora  Latinorum  Chronica,"  2  vols. 
Further,  is  to  be  named  Beda  Venerabilis,  a  very  learned  English 
monk,  who  died  in  the  year  735,  and  who  has  left  behind  him  a  chro- 
nicle, "  De  Sex  jEtatibus  Mundi,"  to  726,  and  a  "  Hist.  Eccles.  Gentis 
Anglicanae."  Finally,  we  have  likewise  collected  largely,  for  this 
earlier  epoch,  from  Jordanis,  who  will  be  referred  to  in  the  second 

Efforts  have  been  made  to  trace  back  the  signs  of  migrations  and 
contests  of  German  tribes  on  Roman  and  Greek  ground  to  very  early 
times,  and  especially  to  the  invasion  of  the  Gauls  under  Brennus 
into  Italy  in  the  year  389  B.  c.,  and  the  incursion  of  the  Gauls 
again,  under  a  second  Brennus,  through  Thracia  and  Macedonia, 
as  far  as  Delphi,  in  the  year  278,  as  referring  to  German  tribes 
from  the  vicinity  of  the  Alps.  But  these  indications  are  much 
too  obscure  and  fragmentary,  and  to  pursue  the  inquiry  would  pro- 
duce no  essential  contribution  towards  a  knowledge  of  our  national 
records.  We  shall  therefore  commence  the  running  thread  of  our 
history,  after,  as  before,  with  the  incursion  of  the  Cimbri  and  Teutoni. 


It  was  in  the  year  113  B.C.  that  a  wild  and  unknown  tribe  crossed 
the  Danube,  and  appeared  upon  the  Alps,  where  the  Romans 
guarded  the  passes  into  Italy.  In  this  same  year  they  defeated  the 
Roman  consul  Papirius  Carbo,  who  commanded  the  army  here, 
near  Noreja,  in  the  mountains  of  the  present  Styria.  Carbo  had 
proved  treacherous  to  them,  for  upon  their  request  to  remain  on 
friendly  terms  with  him,  he  had  provided  them  with  false  guides, 
who  led  them  astray  among  the  mountains,  whilst  he  advanced  by 
a  shorter  road  and  fell  unexpectedly  upon  them.  For  this  breach  of 
faith  they  punished  him  severely,  and  he  and  all  his  troops  would 
have  been  utterly  destroyed  had  not  a  heavy  storm  intervened  and 
assisted  his  flight. 

No  one  knew  whence  these  fearful  hordes  originally  came;  they 
called  themselves,  according  to  the  account  of  the  Romans,  Cimbri 
and  Teutoni.  Upon  collecting  together  the  isolated  narratives  of 
writers,  it  appears  that  the  Cimbri  had  already,  for  a  length  of  time, 
been  wandering  about,  and  had  fought  with  many  nations,  especially 
with  the  Boi,  and  now,  quitting  the  Danube,  appeared  upon  the 
Roman  frontiers.  Whether  they  are  to  be  considered  as  collective 
tribes  intent  upon  migrating,  or  only  as  troops  of  warriors  seeking 
adventures  (as  was  subsequently  the  practice  of  the  Suevic  warriors 
under  Ariovistus),  or,  forming  themselves  by  degrees  into  one  entire 
mass  by  the  junction  of  women  and  children,  they  required  a  country 
wherein  to  settle,  we  cannot,  owing  to  the  deficiency  of  precise  in- 
formation, positively  decide.  If  the  Cimbri,  as  is  the  general  opinion, 
proceeded  from  the  Cimbrian  peninsula,  so  called  by  the  Romans, 
but  which  now  is  the  present  Jutland,  it  is  very  certain  that  only  a 
portion  of  the  tribe  could  have  left  it,  as  it  was  still  occupied  by  that 
tribe  at  a  much  later  period.  But  if  the  name  Kimber,  as  others  have 
surmised,  implied  merely  Kampfer,  fighters,  (Kamper,  Strenuus\ 
they  may  then  have  belonged  to  other  German  tribes,  probably  to  the 
Suevi.  Opinions  likewise  differ  upon  the  name  of  the  Teutoni.  Some 
believe  it  was  not  the  name  of  an  individual  tribe,  but  that  the  Ro- 
mans, hearing  that  these  Cimbri  were  Teuten  or  Teutones,  imagined 
that  they  had  a  second  tribe  to  contend  with,  which  they  called 
Teutoni.  According  to  the  opinion  of  others,  the  Teutoni  were 
wanderers  of  several  tribes  between  the  Vistula  and  the  Elbe,  who, 
urged  forward  by  the  eruption  of  the  Cimbri  from  their  northern 
peninsula,  formed  themselves  into  an  individual  horde,  and  called 
themselves  Teuten,  or  Teutones,  the  collective  name  of  all  the  German 
races.  Others  fix  the  home  of  the  Teutoni  in  the  northern  Scandi- 
navia, in  favour  of  which  their  iron  armour  appears  to  say  much 
already.  But  we  shall  follow  the  accounts  of  the  ancient  writers, 
who  always  name  the  Teutoni  as  an  individual  tribe,  and  remind  us 
that  Pytheas  had  already,  more  than  three  hundred  years  B.C.,  heard 
the  name  of  the  Teutoni  on  our  northern  coasts. 

After  the  Cimbri  had  fought  near  Noreja,  they  advanced 
through  the  fruitful  district  that  lies  between  the  Danube  and  the 


Alps,  towards  southern  Gaul,  which  appears  originally  to  have  been 
the  aim  of  their  exertions,  and  many  tribes  from  Germany,  Gaul,  and 
Switzerland,  strengthened  their  numbers,  particularly  the  Ambroni 
from  the  Emmegau,  and  the  Tigurini  (Zurichers),  a  valiant  tribe  at 
the  foot  of  the  Alps.  They  demanded  a  country  from  the  Romans, 
for  which  they  promised  military  assistance  for  every  war.  The  Ro- 
mans, however,  refused  their  request,  when  they  determined  to  obtain 
by  valour  and  the  sword  what  they  could  not  acquire  by  treaty. 
Four  Roman  armies,  one  after  the  other,  were  defeated  and  almost 
annihilated  by  them  and  their  confederates — the  first  under  the 
consul  Junius  Silanus,  the  second  under  the  consul  Cassius  Longinus, 
who  fell  in  the  battle,  the  third  under  the  legate  Aurelius  Scaurus, 
who  was  taken  prisoner.  When  he  was  brought  before  the  council 
of  the  Germans,  in  order  to  give  them  intelligence  respecting  the 
passage  over  the  Alps,  he  advised  them  to  forego  their  intention,  call- 
ing the  Romans  unconquerable.  Angered  at  this,  a  young  German 
prince ,.  Bojorix,  stood  forth  and  struck  Scaurus  to  the  ground  with 
his  sword. 

The  Romans,  who  already  thought  of  conquering  the  whole  earth, 
but  saw  themselves  now  defeated  by  a  horde  whose  name  they  scarcely 
knew,  collected  together  another  large  army,  under  the  consul  Marcus 
Manlius,  and  sent  it  to  the  assistance  of  the  consul  Scipio,  whose  le- 
gate, Scaurus,  had  just  been  vanquished.  But  envy  and  dissension 
existed  between  the  generals,  and  the  Germans  taking  advantage  of 
this,  gave  such  battle  to  this  large  army,  that  80,000  of  the  Romans 
and  their  allies  were  left  dead  upon  the  field,  with  40,000  of  their 
slaves.  Manlius  fell  with  his  two  sons,  but  Scipio  escaped,  with,  it 
is  said,  but  ten  men.  This  day  was,  henceforth,  considered  by  the 
Romans  as  one  of  the  most  unlucky  in  their  calendar,  and  the  city 
of  Rome,  as  well  as  the  whole  country  were  seized  with  such  a  panic 
that  in  Rome  for  a  very  long  time  after,  any  uncommon  alarm  was 
called,  a  "  Cimbrian  panic"  The  enemy,  however,  did  not  take  ad- 
vantage of  this  opportunity,  the  reason  for  which  neglect  is  not  known ; 
but,  instead  of  advancing  upon  Italy,  they  turned  aside  towards  the 
south  of  France  and  Spain,  and  gave  the  Romans  time  to  recover 

The  Romans  possessed  but  one  man  who  still  sustained  their  hopes, 
this  was  Caius  Marius,  a  rude,  proud  man,  but  a  valiant  warrior. 
He  was  of  low  origin,  and  had  raised  himself  by  his  talents  alone; 
he  was,  therefore,  hated  by  the  patricians,  but  they  were  obliged,  in 
opposition  to  all  hitherto  followed  rules  and  against  the  laws,  to  make 
him  consul  several  years  in  succession,  in  order  that  he  might  free 
them  from  their  terrific  German  foes. 

Marius  collected  his  army  and  conducted  it  over  the  Alps  towards 
Gaul,  as  far  as  the  river  Rhodanus  (the  Rhone),  and  formed  there  a  de- 
fensive camp.  He  re-established  the  ancient  discipline  and  order  in 
his  army,  which  had  been  long  neglected,  and  to  which  was  to  be  at- 
tributed the  mischances  that  had  befallen  them.  He,  therefore,  kept 
himself  for  a  long  time  quiet  in  his  camp,  that  he  might  accustom 


liis  warriors  to  the  view  of  the  large  gigantic  forms  of  these  stran- 
gers, and  to  the  tone  of  their  fearful  voices.  And  when  ever  he 
observed  that  a  small  troop  of  his  enemies  were  alone,  he  quickly  took 
advantage  of  the  favourable  opportunity,  and  made  a  sortie  upon 
them  with  great  strength  and  superiority,  that  his  troops  might 
learn  to  conquer  them  by  degrees.  This  delay  was  irksome  to  the 
war-hunting  Germans,  and  they  often  came  to  the  very  walls  of  the 
camp,  mocked  at  the  Roman  army,  and  called  them  out  to  battle, 
but  Marius  was  not  to  be  diverted  from  his  plan. 

The  Germans  had  now  divided  themselves  into  two  bodies.  The 
Cimbri  had  passed  up  the  Rhodanus  through  Switzerland  and  the 
Tyrol  towards  Italy,  but  the  Teutoni  remained  opposed  to  Marius. 
When  these  latter  perceived  that  their  challenge  was  not  accepted  by 
their  opponents,  they  also  broke  up,  marched  past  his  camp  on  the 
road  to  Italy,  and  called  out  jeeringly  to  the  Roman  soldiers,  asking 
them  "  if  they  had  any  commissions  to  send  to  their  wives?"  The 
multitude  was  so  great  that  they  were  six  days  passing  the  camp  in 
uninterrupted  ranks. 

Marius  followed  at  their  side,  continuing  always  upon  the  heights, 
that  they  might  not  unexpectedly  attack  him ;  he  then  re-encamped 
himself  opposite  to  them  near  Aqure  Sextia?,  or  which  is  the  present 
town  of  Aix,  in  the  south  of  France.  In  the  spot  he  had  selected 
there  was  but  little  water,  and  when  his  warriors  complained  of  thirst, 
he  pointed  with  his  hand  to  a  river  that  ran  close  by  the  enemy's 
camp,  and  said,  "  Behold,  yonder  is  drink  offered  you — but  only  to  be 
purchased  with  blood."  They  replied,  "  Why  do  you  not  then 
lead  us  at  once  against  them  whilst  our  blood  still  flows  ?"  He 
however  returned,  in  a  steady  voice,  "  The  camp  must  first  be 
secured." — And  the  warriors,  although  unwillingly,  obeyed  his 
orders ;  to  such  an  extent  had  this  strict  leader  been  able  to  re- 
establish military  discipline.  Of  the  baggage  men,  however, 
many  hastened  in  a  multitude  to  the  river  to  procure  water  for  them- 
selves and  the  beasts  of  burden,  when,  meeting  with  a  few  of  the 
enemy  who  \vere  indulging  in  bathing,  they  speedily  came  to 
blows  with  them,  and  as  the  cries  of  the  combatants  drew  to 
their  aid  more  from  both  sides,  there  arose  a  sharp  skirmish  with 
the  Ambroni,  whose  camp  lay  on  the  Roman  side  of  the  river.  The 
Ambroni  were  driven  back  into  their  camp  of  waggons,  and  then  a 
severe  battle  took  place  with  the  women,  who  burst  forth  with  swords 
and  axes,  attacking  as  well  their  own  countrymen  who  retreated,  as 
the  pursuing  Romans.  Night  separated  the  combatants.  But  this 
night  was  in  many  ways  terrific  and  dreadful.  There  arose  from  the 
camp  of  the  Germans  a  strange  mixture  of  voices,  not  like  lamenta- 
tion and  sorrow — although  it  might  have  meant  a  mourning-cry  for 
the  dead — but  resembling  a  deadened  roar  as  of  wild  beasts,  which 
was  re-echoed  by  the  mountains  around,  and  by  the  shores  of  the 
stream.  Terror  seized  the  Romans ;  they  feared  the  enemy  might  make 
a  night  attack,  which  would  easily  have  thrown  all  into  confusion; 
for  their  camp,  owing  to  the  battle,  was  still  without  walls  and 


ditches.  But  the  enemy  stirred  not;  they  remained  quiet,  and 
continued  so  up  to  daybreak.  Marius  now  laid  down  his  plans  for 
battle.  He  placed  the  infantry  before  the  camp,  but  the  cavalry  he 
sent  down  into  the  plain,  and  he  despatched  his  lieutenant-general, 
Claudius  Marcellus,  with  3000  heavy  armed  soldiers  forward  to  oc- 
cupy the  wooded  heights  behind  the  enemy,  with  the  command  to 
advance  from  his  ambush  at  the  commencement  of  the  fray. 

When  the  Teutoni  observed  the  Romans  place  themselves  in 
order  of  battle,  they  were  seized  with  such  a  desire  for  the  fight  that 
they  did  not  await  them  in  the  plain,  but  clambered  the  heights 
against  them.  But  as  they  arrived,  breathless  and  panting,  the 
Romans  received  them  courageously  and  with  closed  ranks,  and 
drove  them  back  again  into  the  plain.  Marcellus  did  not  waste  this 
decisive  moment,  but  broke  forth  in  full  gallop,  and  shouting  from 
the  wood  with  his  three  thousand  horsemen,  fell  upon  the  rear  of 
the  enemy,  who,  pressed  on  both  sides,  soon  got  into  disorder,  and 
took  to  flight.  The  Romans  pursued  them,  and  either  killed  or 
took  prisoners  more  than  one  hundred  thousand.  Shortly  after- 
wards the  prince  of  the  Teutoni,  Teutobod,  was  also  taken  prisoner 
in  his  flight  across  the  mountains,  and  was  subsequently  forced 
to  form  in  Rome  the  chief  ornament  in  the  triumphant  train  of 
Marius ;  and  according  to  the  account  of  the  Romans,  he  was  so  tall 
and  lofty  that  his  figure  rose  above  all  the  trophies,  and  so  active, 
that  he  could  leap  over  from  four  to  six  horses.  But  Marius 
burnt  the  arms  and  entire  booty  as  a  great  and  splendid  sacrifice 
to  the  gods,  excepting  only  what  he  selected  and  preserved  of 
the  most  costly  and  rare.  This  battle,  near  Aquae  Sextiaa,  took 
place  in  the  year  102  B.  c.,  and  eleven  years  after  the  battle  of 

The  exultation  of  Marius  and  his  troops  was  speedily  damped  by 
the  intelligence  that  the  consul  Catulus  had  been  repulsed  by  the 
Cimbri  in  Upper  Italy.  These  latter  had,  although  late  in  the  year, 
crossed  the  Alps,  and  drove  before  them  the  enemy,  who  guarded 
the  mountain  passes.  The  latter  looked  with  astonishment  upon 
these  powerful  strangers,  who,  in  their  delight  at  their  native  snow 
and  ice,  as  well  as  in  the  consciousness  of  their  hardy  powers  of  endur- 
ance, revelled  naked  in  the  snow,  ascended  over  ice  and  deep  snow 
to  the  summits  of  the  mountains,  and  then  sitting  upon  their  broad 
shields,  slid  down  from  the  peaks  of  the  most  precipitous  declivities. 
The  consul  was  obliged  to  retreat  behind  the  river  Athesis  (the  Etsch), 
but  erected  defences  on  each  side  of  the  bridge  he  had  built.  When 
the  Cimbri,  advancing  closer,  had  surveyed  the  river,  they  com- 
menced, giant-like,  to  break  rocks  from  the  surrounding  summits, 
and  cast  them,  with  stones  and  earth,  into  the  stream,  in  order  to 
check  its  course;  they  loosened  the  piles  of  the  Roman  bridge  with 
great  weights,  which  were  driven  crashing  against  them  by  the 
floods,  so  that  the  Romans,  in  their  terror,  deserted  their  defences 
and  their  camp,  and  took  to  flight;  and  not  until  they  had  crossed 
the  river  Po  did  they  again  take  up  a  position. 


The  Cimbri  now  spread  themselves  over  the  rich  and  beautiful 
plains  of  Upper  Italy,  and  delayed  going  at  once  and  direct,  as  they 
should  have  done,  upon  Rome ;  the  charms  of  the  country  completely 
enchanting  them.  Instead  of  their  rude  camp  beneath  the  open  sky, 
they  now  accustomed  themselves  to  the  shelter  of  a  roof  and  its  com- 
forts ;  instead  of  their  cold  baths,  they  now  took  warm ;  instead  of 
plain  meat,  they  indulged  in  choice  dishes ;  but,  above  all,  they  sank 
into  intemperance  by  wine  drinking.  Catulus,  in  the  meantime, 
waited  beyond  the  Po  until  Marius  returned  from  Gaul  with  his  vic- 
torious army  and  joined  him;  when  they  both  advanced  forwards 
over  the  river.  As  soon  as  the  Cimbri  were  apprised  of  this,  they 
collected  their  troops,  and,  in  expectation  of  the  Teutoni,  whose 
misfortune  they  were  either  ignorant  of  or  did  not  believe,  they  sent 
to  Marius  once  more  to  demand  of  the  Romans  a  country  for  them- 
selves and  their  brethren.  When  they  named  their  brethren,  the 
Teutoni,  Marius  ridiculed  them,  and  said,  "  Think  no  more  of  your 
brethren ;  they  have  their  land  already,  and  you  likewise  shall  receive 
quite  sufficient  from  us."  The  ambassadors  censured  him  for  his 
ridicule,  and  said  he  would  speedily  receive  his  punishment  from  the 
Cimbri  on  that  very  spot,  as  also  from  the  Teutoni  the  moment  they 
arrived.  "  Thev  are  here  already,"  said  Marius;  "  and  it  would  not 
be  right  to  allow  you  to  retire  without  having  greeted  your  bre- 
thren." And  with  that  he  ordered  the  captive  princes  of  the  Teutoni 
to  be  brought  forward  in  their  fetters. 

Struck  with  amazement,  the  ambassadors  returned  to  their  camp, 
and  the  Cimbri  immediately  broke  up;  Bojorix,  their  prince,  rode 
to  the  Roman  camp,  and  challenged  Marius,  with  the  Romans,  to 
battle,  at  any  place  which  he  might  appoint.  Marius  replied,  "  It 
was  not  usual  for  the  Romans  to  make  their  enemies  acquainted  be- 
forehand with  the  day  of  battle,  yet  even  in  that  he  would  show  him- 
self agreeable  to  the  Cimbri;"  and  he  accordingly  appointed  the 
Raudian  plain,  between  Vercellae  and  Verona,  as  the  place  of  battle, 
and  fixed  the  time  for  the  third  day  following. 

After  the  lapse  of  this  interval,  the  Cimbri  quitted  their  camp  in 
good  order ;  they  placed  their  infantry  in  a  square,  but  the  cavalry, 
15,000  men  strong,  turned  to  the  right,  and  endeavoured,  by  this  ma- 
noeuvre, to  bring  the  Romans  between  themselves  and  the  infantry. 
Their  cavalry,  for  the  greater  portion,  was  equipped  in  the  most 
sumptuous  manner  possible;  they  wore  helmets  which  were  made 
to  resemble  the  throats  of  terrific  animals,  or  other  frightful  ob- 
jects, with  a  full  waving  crest,  which  increased  the  size  of  their  gi- 
gantic figures,  and  their  iron  armour  and  shining  shields  glittered 
afar.  Every  rider  had  a  double  javelin,  and  for  close  combat  a  large 
heavy  sword.  They  had  obtained  these  choice  arms  very  probably 
in  victorious  battles  during  their  long  incursions.  The  infantry, 
however,  poured  itself  forth  upon  the  plain  like  an  immeasurable  and 
moving  sea.  Marius,  at  this  moment,  washed  his  hands,  raised  them 
to  the  gods,  and  vowed  to  them  a  great  sacrifice,  should  he  conquer; 


Catulus  also,  with  raised  hands,  made  a  vow  for  the  success  of  this 
day.  And  when  the  entrails  of  the  slaughtered  animal  were  shown 
to  Marius  by  the  priests,  he  exclaimed,  with  aloud  voice,  so  that  the 
multitude  might  hear  him,  "  Mine  is  the  victory  !" 

A  severe  and  bloody  battle  now  began.  The  heat  and  the  sun 
which  shone  in  the  eyes  of  the  Germans,  aided  the  Romans.  For 
the  former,  brought  up  in  cold  and  shady  parts,  could  endure  the 
cold  but  not  the  heat;  profuse  perspiration  enervated  their  bodies, 
and  they  held  up  their  shields  to  shelter  their  eyes  from  the  sun.  It 
was  precisely  in  the  month  of  July,  when  the  summer's  heat  is  most 
intense,  that  the  battle  was  fought.  The  dust  also  was  opposed  to 
them,  for  it  completely  enveloped  them,  and  concealed  from  the 
Romans  both  their  numbers  and  their  terrific  aspect,  so  that  the  latter, 
not  being  previously  alarmed  by  their  appearance,  fell  at  once  upon 
the  ranks  of  their  enemies.  The  most  dreadful  close  conflict  ensued, 
wherein  the  Romans  derived  a  vast  advantage  over  their  enemies  from 
their  short  broad  swords.  They  had  also  so  accustomed  their  bodies 
to  the  labours  and  discipline  of  war,  that  not  a  single  Roman  was 
observed  to  perspire  or  to  lose  his  breath,  even  in  the  most  suffocating 
heat.  Besides,  Marius  had  invented  a  new  weapon,  a  kind  of  long 
barbed  spear,  which  the  Romans  hurled  against  the  shields  of  their 
enemies,  and  with  which  they  forced  these  down,  so  that  the  indi- 
vidual remained  exposed. 

Thus  it  happened  that  the  largest  and  most  warlike  portion  of  the 
Cimbri  were  killed.  The  foremost  rank  had  bound  themselves  to- 
gether with  long  chains  or  cords,  fixed  to  their  girdles,  that  they 
might  not  be  forcibly  separated ;  and  they  now  lay  on  the  field  as  it 
were  strung  together.  When  the  Romans,  pursuing  those  who  fled, 
arrived  at  their  waggon-camp,  their  eyes  beheld  a  sad  and  mournful 
scene.  The  wives  of  the  Germans  stood,  dressed  in  black,  upon  their 
waggons,  and  themselves  destroyed  the  fugitives  as  they  arrived,  nay, 
even  their  own  little  children  they  cast  beneath  the  wheels  of  the 
waggons,  and  under  the  feet  of  the  beasts  of  burden,  that  they  might 
not  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  Romans ;  and  they  then  killed  them- 
selves. Many  of  the  men  also  slew  themselves,  for  they  feared  slavery 
more  than  death.  Sixty  thousand  were,  however,  taken  prisoners, 
and  as  many  more  upon  this  fatal  day  were  exterminated. 

Thus  was  concluded  this  severe  and  bitter  war,  which  the  Romans 
considered  equally  as  critical  as  the  earlier  one,  nearly  three  hun- 
dred years  before,  when  the  Gauls  under  Brennus  burnt  Rome ;  and 
thence  they  called  Marius  the  third  founder  of  the  city.  But  the  boys 
and  youths  of  the  Cimbri  and  Teutoni,  who  were  made  prisoners  in 
these  battles,  and  conveyed  away  as  slaves,  amply  revenged  hereafter 
the  blood  of  their  fathers  and  their  brothers  in  that  of  thousands  of 
Romans,  whom  they  slew  in  the  servile  war  under  their  leader, 

Not  quite  fifty  years  had  passed  after  this  first  essay  at  arms  of  the 
Germans  with  the  Romans,  when  the  former  again  advanced  towards  the 


Roman  frontiers,  in  smaller  numbers,  certainly,  than  at  the  first 
time,  and  perhaps  not  with  the  clearly  defined  purpose  of  invading 
Italy;  but  conquest  and  the  prospect  of  booty  probably  would 
speedily  have  increased  their  forces,  and  the  fruitful  pastures,  as 
well  as  the  full  granaries,  of  the  natives,  would  have  allured  them 
from  province  to  province,  until  the  fame  of  the  smiling  country 
beyond  the  Alps  might  have  suggested  to  them  the  path  over  these 
towering  frontier  walls,  had  they  not  found  an  opponent  who  knew 
at  least  the  art  of  war  as  well  as  Marius. 

Ariovistus,  a  king  of  the  Marcomannic  Suevi,  between  the  Danube 
and  the  Neckar,  was  appealed  to  for  assistance  by  a  Gallic  tribe,  the 
Sequani,  against  another  tribe,  the  j?Edui ;  in  the  year  72  B.  C.,  he 
passed  over  the  Rhine  at  the  head  of  an  army,  and  obtained  a  victory 
for  the  Sequani ;  but  the  beautiful  plains  of  the  present  Burgundy 
pleased  him  so  much,  that  he  would  not  again  quit  them.  At  en- 
mity equally  with  the  conquerors  and  conquered,  he  seized  a  space 
of  land,  and  when  the  Gauls  had  united  against  him  he  put  them  to 
flight  near  Magetobria  (now  Mumpelgard).  He,  perhaps,  originally 
went  forth  upon  this  adventure  as  a  duke  with  his  warlike  train,  but 
more  and  more  Germans  flocked  to  him,  attracted  by  the  celebrity 
of  this  beautiful  country,  so  that  he  speedily  had  under  him  an  army 
of  1 20,000  men.  The  whole  of  Gaul  trembled  before  him ;  the  tribes 
believed  themselves  already  vanquished  or  driven  from  their  ancient 
seats.  The  Romans,  however,  who  possessed  already  in  Southern 
Gaul  a  subjected  province,  acknowledged  Ariovistus  as  king  in  his 
conquered  territory,  and  called  him  friend. 

But  speedily  afterwards  Julius  Caesar,  one  of  the  greatest  and 
boldest  of  Roman  leaders,  appeared  in  Gaul.  Burning  ambition 
excited  him  to  great  warlike  undertakings,  and  he  had  arrived  in 
these  districts  with  no  other  view  than  to  subject  the  whole  of  Gaul 
to  the  Romans.  The  JEdui  and  other  Gallic  tribes,  now  turned  to 
him  and  demanded  aid  of  him  against  the  Germans.  CaBsar  gladly 
profited  by  this  opportunity  of  advancing  farther  into  Gaul,  promised 
them  help,  and  demanded  an  interview  with  Ariovistus. 

Ariovistus  answered  proudly  and  boldly,  that,  "  If  he  himself  de- 
sired aught  of  Caesar  he  should  come  to  him,  and  if  Caesar  desired 
aught  of  him  he  must  do  the  same.  Besides,  he  could  not  under- 
stand what  Ccesar  or  the  Roman  people  in  general  had  to  do  in  his 
Gaul,  which  he  had  conquered  by  the  force  of  arms?" 

Caesar  replied  to  him:  "  As  he  had  refused  his  invitation  to  an 
interview,  he  at  once  would  briefly  state  what  he  desired  of  him, 
viz.:  in  the  first  place,  that  he  should  not  bring  any  more  Germans 
across  the  Rhine;  and,  secondly,  that  he  should  return  to  the  Gallic 
tribes  their  hostages,  and  treat  them  no  longer  as  enemies.  If  he 
fulfilled  these  conditions,  the  Roman  people  would  hold  constant 
peace  and  friendship  with  him ;  if  not,  Cassar  would  not  behold  the 
injuries  of  the  jiEdui  with  indifference." 

Ariovistus,  in  his  reply  to  this,  referred  boldly  and  candidly  to  the 



right  of  arms,  according  to  which  the  conqueror  might  treat  the 
conquered  as  he  pleased.  It  was  thus  the  Romans  themselves  were 
likewise  accustomed  to  act,  who  well  knew  too  how  to  make  use  of 
their  rights ;  he  only  required  therefore  to  be  left  to  do  the  same. 
And  with  regard  to  Caesar's  announcement,  that  he  would  not  let 
the  injuries  of  the  ^dui  remain  unrevenged,  Ariovistus  replied: 
"  No  one  had  hitherto  contended  with  him  but  to  their  ruin.  If 
Csesar  wished,  he  might  begin  the  contest;  he  would  then  learn  to 
know  what  unconquered  Germans,  perfectly  practised  in  the  use  of 
arms,  and  whom  no  roof  had  sheltered  for  fourteen  years,  could 
perform."  Truly,  the  language  of  a  hero  of  the  great  tribes-migra- 
tion ;  to  whom  his  sword  stood  in  lieu  of  hereditary  right  and  title 
deeds,  and  who,  with  his  brethren  in  sums,  was  determined  to  repose 
under  no  roof  until  he  had  conquered  the  sought-for  country  of  his 
new  home ! 

With  any  other  opponent  this  bold  declaration  might  have  pro- 
duced its  influence,  and  been  effective;  but  Caesar,  who  even  in 
Rome  itself  could  not  endure  to  be  the  second,  felt  thereby  the 
more  excited  to  measure  himself  with  such  an  enemy.  He  ad- 
vanced against  him  and  occupied  Vesontio  (Besan^on),  the  chief 
city  of  the  Sequani,  which  was  very  strong  and  richly  provided 
with  all  the  munitions  of  war.  Whilst  he  remained  here  a  few  days, 
a  very  dangerous  despondency  suddenly  overpowered  his  army. 
The  statements  of  the  Gauls  who  had  been  so  often  beaten  by  the 
Germans,  the  descriptions  given  by  the  traders  who  had  travelled 
through  their  country,  the  close  proximity  of  the  terrific  enemy  him- 
self, tended,  combined  altogether,  to  present  before  the  soul  of  the 
Romans  so  fearful  a  picture  of  the  strength,  the  valour  and  ferocity 
of  the  Germans,  within  whose  annihilating  glance  it  was  impossible 
to  stand,  that  many  who  had  thus  far  voluntarily  followed  Cagsar,  did 
not  hesitate  inventing  any  excuse  to  enable  them  to  return  home. 
Others  whom  shame  retained,  could  however  so  little  govern  them- 
selves, that  they  frequently  broke  forth  in  tears,  and  in  their  tents 
sorrowfully  mourned  their  ill-fortune.  Throughout  the  whole  camp 
all  were  engaged  making  their  wills  publicly ;  and  at  last  even  those 
became  tainted  by  the  panic,  to  whom  the  dangers  of  war  were  by 
no  means  strange.  And,  in  fact,  there  was  a  general  murmur  against 
their  rash  leader,  for  thus  unnecessarily  seeking  so  perilous  a  battle. 

Caesar,  in  order  to  subdue  this  impression  in  his  army,  summoned 
forth  the  whole  force  of  his  eloquence.  He  collected  together  the 
leaders  of  his  host,  and  represented  to  them  that  a  war  with  Ario- 
vistus was  as  yet  by  no  means  certain ;  he  much  more  expected  that 
the  latter  would  listen  to  the  voice  of  justice  and  of  peace.  But 
should  he,  from  a  mad  love  of  battle,  absolutely  desire  it,  they  had 
only  to  remember  the  defeat  of  the  Cimbri  and  Teutoni,  and  the  ser- 
vile war  just  ended,  wherein  the  Germans  also  were  conquered  as  well 
as  the  Helvetians,  not  being  able  to  resist  the  Roman  arms.  But  if, 
notwithstanding,  all  these  reasons  could  not  serve  to  tranquillize  them, 


and  none  would  follow  him,  he  would  at  once  advance  against  the 
foe  with  the  tenth  legion  alone,  for  on  their  fidelity  he  could  de- 

This  address  made  a  deep  impression  upon  their  minds.  The 
tenth  legion  thanked  him  immediately  for  his  confidence,  and  all 
the  rest  emulated  each  other  in  displaying  their  readiness.  Caesar 
broke  up  forthwith,  and  advanced  nearer  to  the  German  army.  An 
interview  which  he  held  with  Ariovistus  at  his  desire,  was  as  fruit- 
less as  the  previous  negotiations,  and  Csesar  now  wished  for  nothing 
but  a  battle.  But  Ariovistus  took  up  a  position  in  which  he  cut  off 
from  the  Romans  all  the  supplies,  and  caused  his  cavalry,  which  by  its 
mixture  with  the  light  infantry,  was  superior  to  that  of  the  Romans, 
to  make  skirmishes.  But  the  battle,  although  daily  offered  by  Caesar, 
he  did  not  accept. 

Csesar  then  learnt  from  some  prisoners  the  cause  of  -this  delay, 
which  otherwise  was  not  in  accordance  with  German  custom.  The 
prophetic  women,  according  to  whose  oracles  the  army  acted,  had 
announced  misfortune  should  they  fight  before  the  new  moon.  Caesar 
now  sought  a  battle  more  zealously  than  ever,  and  advanced  close  up 
to  the  German  camp.  They  then  at  last  drew  forth  their  troops, 
and  each  tribe  took  up  its  position — the  Harudi,  Marcomanni,  Tri- 
bocki,  Vangioni,  Nemeti,  Sedusi,  and  Suevi;  they  surrounded  their 
battle  array  with  waggons  and  chariots,  whereon  sat  the  women  with 
wild  and  loosely  flowing  hair,  supplicating  all  the  ranks  as  they  passed 
by,  not  to  allow  them  to  fall  into  the  bondage  of  the  Romans.  The 
battle  commenced,  and  they  were  soon  furiously  engaged  on  all 
sides.  The  Germans  rushed  forward  with  so  much  speed,  that  the 
Romans  had  not  time  to  cast  their  javelins,  and  their  left  wing  was 
driven  to  flight;  but  their  right  wing  conquered  on  its  side,  and  now 
were  displayed  the  advantage  and  superiority  of  perfect  warlike  order 
and  discipline.  The  broken  wing  of  the  Romans  was  re-formed, 
when  the  third  division  advanced  to  its  aid;  the  ranks  of  the  Ger- 
mans, however,  remained  in  confusion,  for  their  army,  although 
extremely  valiant,  was  deficient  in  strict  discipline  and  order.  They 
were  therefore  at  last  driven  to  flight  on  all  sides,  and  hastened 
towards  the  Rhine.  But  the  Roman  cavalry  overtook  the  greater 
part,  and  but  few,  among  whom  was  Ariovistus,  saved  themselves 
by  swimming  or  by  traversing  the  river  in  small  boats.  His  two 
wives  were  killed  in  the  flight,  and  of  his  two  daughters  one  was 
likewise  slain,  and  the  other  taken  prisoner.  Of  Ariovistus  himself 
history  says  nothing  further. 

When  Caesar  had  driven  Ariovistus  across  the  Rhine  he  began  the 
subjection  of  the  Gallic  tribes,  who  were  not  equal  to  the  Germans 
in  valour.  He  conquered  one  after  the  other,  and  kept  constantly 
advancing  to  the  lower  Rhine.  Intelligence  then  came  to  him  that 
two  German  tribes  of  the  lower  Rhine,  the  Usipeti  and  Tenchteri, 
pressed  by  the  Suevi,  had  passed  over  the  Rhine  to  seek  a  new  set- 
tlement in  Gaul.  They  had  with  them  their  wives  and  children, 



their  slaves  and  herds,  as  well  as  the  rest  of  their  property,  and  were 
upwards  of  430,000  strong.  As  Caesar  now,  however,  considered 
Gaul  to  belong  to  him,  he  desired  them  to  retrace  their  steps. 
They,  however,  replied  "  That  they  had  been  forced  by  the  Suevi 
to  wander  from  their  homes;  they  desired  nothing  but  a  land  to 
dwell  in ;  he  ought  therefore  to  leave  them  the  fields  they  had  con- 
quered with  their  arms,  or  give  them  others  instead.  Besides,  it  was 
not  German  fashion  to  avert  a  battle  by  intreaties,  but  to  make  a  stand 
against  those  who  desired  the  contest ;  he  was  therefore  free  to  choose 
their  friendship  or  war.  They  yielded  to  none  but  the  Suevi,  to 
whom  in  battle  even  the  immortal  gods  themselves  were  not  equal ; 
but  excepting  those  there  dwelt  none  on  earth  whom  they  could 
not  conquer." 

They  nevertheless  were  conquered  by  Caesar,  but  only  by  Italian 
cunning,  for  as  their  princes  and  chieftains  came  to  an  arranged  inter- 
view with  him,  he  suddenly  seized  them  as  prisoners,  fell  immediately 
upon  their  camps,  and  beat  and  scattered  the  whole  tribe,  which  was 
now  without  a  leader.  Some  of  them  fled  back  across  the  Rhine  to  the 
Sigambri.  Caesar  required  them  to  be  delivered  up.  The  Sigambri 
answered:  u  The  Rhine  at  least  was  the  limits  of  the  Roman  empire; 
if  he  did  not  wish  the  Germans  to  cross  the  Rhine  against  his  will, 
why  did  he  presume  to  give  orders  on  their  side  of  the  river?" 

Such  language  vexed  the  proud  Roman.     He  likewise  still  bore 
fresh  in  mind,  that  the  Suevi  under  Ariovistus  had  already  fallen 
upon  Gaul;  therefore,  he  determined  to  build  a  bridge  over  the  Rhine, 
and  make  the  German  tribes  feel  in  their  own  country  the  power  of 
the  Romans.     In  ten  days  he  constructed  with  much  ingenuity,  in 
the  country  of  the  Ubi,  below  the  place  where  the  Moselle  falls  into 
the  Rhine  (according  to  some  near  Bonn,  according  to  others  near 
Andernach)  a  large  wooden  bridge,  and  passed  with  his  army  over 
Germany's  noble  stream.    This  was  in  the  year  55  B.  c.     He  wished 
to  attack  the  powerful  confederation  of  the  Suevi ;  these,  however,  re- 
moved their  whole  property  and  their  wives  and  children  far  back 
into  the  interior  of  the  forests,  and  collected  all  their  warlike  forces 
in  the  middle  of  their  domain,  there  to  await  their  enemy.  It  appears 
they  had  selected  their  ground  with  great  prudence,  for  Caesar  did  not 
consider  it  even  advisable  to  follow  them  thus  far.     He  halted  only 
eighteen  days  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine,  devastated  with  fire 
and  sword  the  vicinity  of  the  Sieg,  where  the  Sigambri  then  dwelt, 
and  then  returned  across  the  river.     To  the  Ubi,  who  upon  this 
occasion  had  been  his  faithful  adherents,  he  gave  the  name  of  Roman 

But  the  Suevi  had  so  little  fear  of  the  Romans,  that  they  shortly 
afterwards  sent  assistance  to  the  Treviri  against  them.  Caesar  then 
determined  to  cross  the  Rhine  a  second  time.  He  built  a  second 
bridge  a  little  above  the  former  place  (according  to  the  opinion  of 
some  near  Neuwied)  but  scarcely  placed  a  foot  in  Germany,  for  the 
Suevi  had  made  their  arrangements  this  time  as  prudently  as  before. 
According  to  the  connexion  of  events,  and  of  the  locality  where 



Caesar  crossed  the  Rhine,  those  whom  he  called  Suevi  must  have 
been  the  Chatti,  and  these  either  then  have  belonged  to  the  Suevic 
confederation,  or  Caesar,  in  his  ignorance  of  the  German  relations, 
has  included  them  as  such. 

After  this  period  Caesar  did  not  again  pass  into  Germany,  but  he  had 
Become  so  well  acquainted  with  the  Germans,  as  being  such  strong  and 
valiant  men,  that  he  endeavoured  to  raise  troops  from  among  them  to 
serve  in  his  legions.  This  was  easy  to  him  amongst  such  a  brave 
people,  where  there  were  always  bold  men  ready  to  go  forth  for  pay, 
booty,  and  the  love  of  war.  Caesar  was  likewise  a  hero  who  well  un- 
derstood how  to  win  the  hearts  of  his  warriors ;  he  led  them  always  to 
victory.  German  subsidies  helped  him  henceforth  to  win  his  battles, 
and  at  Phar solus,  where  he  fought  the  last  battle  against  Pompey ,  and 
where  it  was  decided  which  of  the  two  should  rule  the  world,  they 
afforded  him  important  aid.  After  the  battle  had  been  hard  fought, 
Pompey  despatched  his  cavalry  against  the  enemy,  that  they  might 
give  decision  to  the  battle ;  but  these  horsemen  were  chiefly  proud 
Roman  youths,  of  the  superior  classes,  who  idly  thought  they  could 
not  be  defeated.  Caesar  then  gave  command  to  his  German  infantry 
to  drive  back  the  cavalry,  and  called  out  to  them:  "  Comrades,  strike 
only  at  the  face  !"  He  well  knew  that  the  vain  youths  of  the  metro- 
polis preferred  their  smooth  faces  to  scars.  And  the  Germans,  who 
were  sufficiently  tall  and  strong,  rushed  against  the  cavaliers  as  if  they 
were  themselves  mounted,  and  not  on  foot,  and  frightened  them 
so  much  that  they  speedily  took  to  flight.  Thus  the  day  was 
by  them  won  for  Caesar.  Henceforward,  there  were  constantly  German 
soldiers  in  the  Roman  service,  and  the  succeeding  emperors  even 
formed  of  them  their  body-guard. 

Julius  Caesar  was  murdered  as  he  was  about  to  make  himself  sole 
master  of  Rome ;  but  the  Romans  were  no  longer  worthy  of  being 
a  free  people ;  they  therefore  speedily  fell  into  the  hands  of  masters 
Avho  were  worse  than  Caesar.  The  first  among  them  was  the  Em- 
peror Augustus,  whose  reign  lasted  from  the  year  30  B.  C.  to  the  year 

14  A.  D. 

During  this  time  the  Romans  had  subjected  a  greater  portion  of 
the  then  known  earth.  Of  Europe,  besides  Italy,  Greece  and  Mace- 
donia, Hispania,  and  Gaul,  were  also  subject  to  them;  with  that  they 
were  not  however  satisfied,  but  coveted  other  countries  which  lay 
beyond  the  Alps  and  the  Rhine;  for  the  ambition  and  avarice 
of  the  Romans  knew  no  limits,  and  no  doubt  it  appeared  very  desir- 
able to  them  to  gain  dominion  over  the  powerful  men  of  the  German 
race  according  to  their  own  will,  and  to  form  tliejlower  of  their  armies 
from  their  ranks,  and  by  their  aid  to  hold  the  rest  of  the  world  in 
obedience.  They  at  first  attacked  those  tribes  which  dwelt  upon  the 
sides  of  the  Alps  towards  Germany,  in  the  mountains  of  Graubiinden, 
the  Tyrol,  Saltzburg,  and  Austria :  wild  tribes,  partly  of  Gallic  and 
partly  of  unknown  origin,  who  could  not  resist  the  superiority  of  the 
Romans,  and  who  were  not  only  conquered,  but  exterminated  or 
sold  as  slaves.  This  contest  was  concluded  in  the  year  15  B.  C. 

54  DRUSUS. 

Henceforward  the  river  Danube  was  on  this  side  the  boundary  be- 
tween the  Romans  and  the  Germans.  From  the  other  side,  however, 
the  river  Rhine  was  no  longer  to  remain  so,  and  Augustus  therefore, 
sent  his  step-son,  Claudius  Drusus,  to  Gaul,  to  attack  the  Germans 
in  their  own  country,  and  he  was  certainly  a  hero  competent  to  ac- 
complish what  was  great. 

Drusus  undertook  four  campaigns  in  Germany,  in*  the  years  12 
— 9  B.  C.  He  warred  with  the  Suevi,  Chatti,  Sigambri,  Usipeti, 
Tenchteri,  Brukteri,  and  Cherusci.  He  passed  on  from  the  lower 
Rhine  to  the  rivers  Lippe  and  Ems,  as  far  as  the  Weser, 
and  in  his  fourth  incursion  advanced  even  to  the  Elbe.  But  his 
irruptions  were  no  conquests.  The  Germans  well  understood  how 
to  conduct  war  against  such  an  enemy.  They  retreated  from  their 
isolated  dwellings  into  the  forests  on  both  sides  of  the  road  he  took, 
destroyed  the  supplies  they  could  not  take  with  them,  placed  their 
families  in  safety,  and  stayed  there  until  the  autumn.  The  Romans 
were  then  obliged  once  again  to  return,  as  they  could  not  winter  in 
the  desert  country,  from  the  deficiency  of  provisions ;  and  that  was  the 
moment  the  Germans  had  awaited  with  impatience.  They  now  an- 
noyed the  enemy  at  every  step  he  took;  attacked  solitary  troops, 
rushing  upon  them  suddenly  from  the  forests,  in  the  most  dan- 
gerous places,  destroyed  the  wearied  stragglers,  seized  upon  their 
baggage  and  allowed  them  no  rest  either  by  night  or  day ;  and  thus 
the  Romans  never  returned  to  the  Rhine  without  considerable  loss. 

The  rapid  and  extensive  incursions  of  Drusus  into  Germany  gave 
him,  therefore,  great  fame  among  the  Romans,  but  did  little  harm  to 
the  Germans.  In  the  autumn,  winter,  and  spring,  they  dwelt  quietly 
in  the  places  which  the  enemy  had  again  quitted.  But  Drusus  would 
certainly  have  found  at  last  the  means  of  establishing  his  dominion  in 
Lower  Germany  had  he  lived  longer.  He  had  made  one  commence- 
ment towards  it  already.  He  built  strong  forts  at  the  mouths  of  the 
rivers  which  flowed  into  the  Rhine  and  the  North  Sea,  that  he  might 
retain  in  his  power  all  their  navigation ;  thus  being  enabled  to  convey 
into  the  country  a  portion  of  his  army  with  greater  security  upon  a 
fleet  of  small  vessels,  and  to  transport  their  provisions  conveniently 
after.  For  this  purpose  he  also  commenced  a  canal,  which  was  called 
after  him  the  Drusus  ditch  (and  is  still  called  the  Drusus  Vaart)  and 
united  the  Rhine  between  Doesberg  and  Isselort  with  the  Issel.  By 
means  of  this  canal  the  Rhine  was  brought  into  connexion  with  the 
Zuider  Zee,  the  Flevum  ostium  of  the  ancients,  and  the  Romans  hence- 
forth, by  means  of  this  outlet,  were  enabled  to  have  communication 
with  the  North  Sea  from  all  their  holds  upon  the  Rhine.  Drusus 
himself  took  this  mode  of  uniting  himself  with  the  Friesi,  and  of  reach- 
ing the  mouth  of  the  Ems  by  sea,  and  where  he  likewise  built  a  fort, 
probably  opposite  to  the  present  Emden.  On  the  Rhine  he  built  as 
many  as  fifty  of  these  forts,  strongly  fortified,  especially  Bonn  and 
Mentz,  the  last  upon  the  border-limits  against  the  Suevi,  and  pro- 
vided them  with  bridges  and  flotillas  for  their  defence ;  and  upon 

DRUSUS.  55 

the  Taunus  mountains,  on  the  heights  near  the  present  Homburg,  he 
built  the  fort  Arctaunum,  intended  against  the  Chatti.  Had  he, 
therefore,  from  year  to  year  advanced  more  and  more  with  such  for- 
tresses into  Germany,  and  so  at  last  have  prevented  his  being  obliged 
to  quit  the  land  again  in  autumn,  the  dominion  of  the  Romans, 
together  with  the  adoption  of  their  language  and  manners  might, 
perhaps,  have  maintained  a  firm  ground  in  Germany.  But  his  course 
was  already  stopped  in  the  fourth  year  of  his  impellent  irruptions. 

We  will  here  give  a  brief  sketch  of  these  incursions.  The  first  he 
made  was  after  his  legate  had  revenged  himself  upon  the  Sigambri 
for  the  defeat  of  Lollius,  with  his  fleet  down  the  Rhine,  through  his 
canal  and  the  Zuider  Zee  into  the  Northern  Sea,  entering  the  mouth 
of  the  Ems.  The  Friesi  were  allies ;  however,  the  Brukteri  had  col- 
lected a  fleet  in  the  Ems  and  opposed  him,  but  they  were  beaten.  Here 
Drusus  built  his  fort  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  then  continued 
his  course  along  the  Oldenburg  coast,  as  far  as  the  afflux  of  the  Yade, 
where  his  ships  got  stranded,  but  by  the  aid  of  the  Friesi  and  the 
flood  were  set  afloat  again.  The  winter,  however,  obliged  him  to 

In  the  second  campaign  Drusus  gained  the  shore  across  the  Lippe, 
as  far  as  the  Weser,  in  the  vicinity  of  Hoxter;  but  a  revolt  of  the 
tribes  in  his  rear  forced  him  to  make  a  retreat,  when  he  found  him- 
self suddenly  surrounded  near  Arbalo  by  the  Germans.  Their  too  great 
confidence  in  gaining  a  victory,  which  misled  them  to  make  an  irre- 
gular attack,  as  well  as  their  thirst  for  booty,  were  the  means  of  his 
rescue.  He  built  here,  at  the  junction  of  the  Aliso  and  Lippe,  the 
fort  or  castle  Atiso*,  in  order  to  have  a  point  d'appui  for  his  incursions 
against  the  tribes  on  the  Weser. 

The  third  campaign  he  made  was  against  the  Chatti,  who,  pre- 
viously peaceable,  had  now  united  with  the  Sigambri  against  him, 
because  he  had  built  opposite  to  them  the  fort  upon  the  Taunus 
mountains ;  they  were  beaten  but  not  subdued. 

In  the  fourth  campaign  Drusus  advanced  from  the  fort  on  the 
Taunus  mountains  into  the  land  of  the  Chatti,  beat  them,  as  well  as 
the  Marcomanni  under  Marbodius,  and  forced  the  latter  to  retreat  far- 
ther eastwards.  These  attacked  the  Bojians  and  forced  them  to  yield. 
Thus  did  Drusus  himself  assist  in  causing  the  Germans  to  completely 
drive  before  them  the  Gallic  tribes,  and  to  extend  their  own  settle- 
ments. Upon  this  Drusus  turned  again  to  the  left  against  the 
Cherusci,  marched  on  across  the  mountains  to  the  Saale,  and  along 
this  river  downwards  as  far  as  the  Elbe  (perhaps  in  the  vicinity  of 
Barby).  It  was  whilst  one  day  he  was  here  standing  alone  on  the 
banks  of  the  Elbe,  which  in  his  mind  was  not  yet  to  be  the  limits  of 
his  progress,  that,  as  it  is  related,  a  supernatural  figure  in  the 
form  of  a  female,  appeared  before  him,  and  with  a  lofty,  threatening 
air,  addressed  him  thus:  "  How  much  farther  wilt  thou  advance, 

*  Respecting  the  locality  of  Arbalo  and  Aliso,  see  the  Introduction. 


insatiable  Drusus?  It  is  not  appointed  for  tliee  to  behold  all  these 
countries.  Depart  hence !  the  term  of  thy  deeds  and  of  thy  life  is 
at  hand!" 

Whether  this  was  the  creation  of  his  imagination,  or  was  de- 
vised by  the  craft  of  one  of  the  prophetic  women  among  the  Ger- 
mans, inwardly  bemoaning  the  fate  of  her  country,  is  uncertain ; — 
suffice  it,  that  Drusus,  on  his  return,  fell  from  his  horse,  and  died  a 
few  weeks  afterwards  in  consequence. 

After  him  his  brother  Tiberius  commanded  the  legions  which 
were  opposed  to  the  Germans.  He  was  of  an  artful  and  deceptive  dis- 
position ;  and  besides  arms,  he  employed  other  and  worse  means 
against  them.  By  craft  he  caused  disputes  among  the  tribes,  and 
by  want  of  faith  he  led  them  into  ruin.  The  Sigambri  who  were 
one  of  the  strongest  and  most  valiant  tribes  upon  the  Rhine,  he  could 
not  conquer  with  arms.  He  therefore  demanded  an  embassy  from 
them  to  him  for  the  sake  of  peace,  as  he  said ;  and  as  the  princes  and 
leaders  came  in  great  numbers,  he  caused  them  to  be  taken  prisoners 
and  dispersed  among  the  Gallic  cities,  transplanting  also  of  the 
tribe,  which  was  thus  robbed  of  its  chieftains,  40,000  towards  the 
estuaries  of  the  Rhine  and  the  Issel.*  The  princes,  however,  to 
whom  life  among  a  strange  people  was  an  insupportable  burden,  and 
who  would  not,  that  on  their  account,  their  people  should  be  with- 
held from  a  retributive  war  against  the  Romans,  killed  themselves. 

By  such  means,  indeed,  it  was  not  difficult  to  hold  in  trammels 
those  districts  which  bordered  on  the  Rhine,  or  on  the  rivers  which 
flowed  into  it;  and  by  the  aid  of  the  strong  forts  placed  there, 
and  of  the  frontier  walls  or  land  defences  (Kmites),  which  enclosed 
the  occupied  country,  the  north-western  portion  of  Germany 
as  far  nearly  as  the  Weser,  appeared  even  already  subdued,  and,  as  it 
were,  a  Roman  province.  Domitius  jlEnobarbus,  the  grandfather  of  the 
subsequent  Emperor  Nero,  who  held  the  command  in  the  years 
immediately  preceding  the  birth  of  Christ,  pressed  forward,  even 
across  the  Elbe.  No  one  hitherto  had  been  so  far.  He  also  built  a 
road  between  the  Rhine  and  the  Ems,  called  ponies  longi,  namely 
dykes  and  morass  bridges,  Avhich  led  from  vetera  castra,  near  Wesel, 
onwards  to  the  vicinity  of  the  Ems,  over  moors  and  marshes. 

When  Tiberius  came  a  second  time  to  Germany,  about  the  year 
3  A.  D.,  he  completely  subdued  a  recent  rebellion  among  the  lower 
German  tribes,  embarked  upon  the  ocean,  and  sailing  as  far  as  the  mouth 
of  the  Elbe,  fought  with  the  Longobardi,  and  took  up  his  winter 
quarters  among  the  quieted  tribes  near  the  sources  of  the  Lippe, 
probably  near  the  fort  Aliso.  Henceforth  this  place  was  the 
point  whence  the  Romans  directed  all  their  undertakings  against 
the  middle  of  Germany,  upon  the  frontiers  of  which  they  had 

*  This  transplantation  of  the  Sigambri,  by  which  Tiberius  thought  to  extermi- 
nate the  tribe,  only  produced  their  salvation;  for  from  these  new  settlements  arose 
afterwards  the  Issel-Franks,  who  laid  the  foundation  for  the  greatness  of  the  king- 
dom of  the  Franks. 


now  arrived;  and  with  the  nearest  tribe  therein,  the  Cherusci, 
they  had  just  formed  an  alliance  under  the  name  of  friendship 
and  confederation;  which  kind  of  union  had,  more  safely  than 
the  force  of  arms,  led  to  the  subjection  of  the  tribes.  The  internal 
organization  of  this  province  appeared  to  be  a  task  possible  now  to  be 
put  into  operation.  But  under  this  great  oppression  of  their  country, 
the  courage  of  the  Germans  did  not  sleep ;  for,  the  same  as  in  all  times, 
although  it  was  possible  to  bend  their  proud  spirit,  still  it  had  never 
yet  been  broken.  The  sources  of  their  aid  sprung  from  among  them- 

A  multitude  of  noble  German  youths  had  by  a  variety  of  events  ar- 
rived at  Rome ;  some  in  the  Roman  service,  others  as  deputies,  or  as 
hostages ;  some  again  perhaps  from  ambition.  But  in  the  metropolis  of 
the  world  they  beheld  neither  greatness  nor  freedom,  on  the  contrary, 
only  slavery,  which  carries  with  it  these  sins : — meanness  by  the  side 
of  arrogance,  flattery,  dissipation,  enervation,  and  idleness.  To  be  ruled 
by  such  masters  as  the  Romans  then  were,  seemed  to  them  the  most 
disgraceful  of  all  things.  At  the  same  time,  however,  they  became 
acquainted  with  Roman  military  affairs,  their  art  of  government,  and 
their  craft;  and  what  the  former  had  applied  to  the  oppression  of  their 
country,  they  determined  to  employ  for  its  redemption. 

Marbodius,  a  noble  Suevian  of  the  frontier  tribe  of  the  Marco- 
manni,  was  a  youth  of  this  stamp.  The  Romans  describe  him  as  tall 
and  stately,  self-willed  in  disposition,  and  more  by  birth  than  intel- 
lect a  barbarian,  which  name  they  in  their  pride  gave  to  all  who  were 
not  Romans  or  Greeks.  He  had  been  sent  young  to  Rome,  and  at 
the  court  of  the  Emperor  Augustus  he  was  particularly  honoured. 
When  however,  he  had  seen  sufficient  of  Rome,  he  returned  to 
his  own  country,  and  as  he  saw  that  they  could  not,  in  their  present 
settlements  upon  the  Neckar  and  the  Rhine,  well  maintain  themselves 
against  the  great  power  of  the  Romans,  which  threatened  them  after 
the  conquest  of  the  Alps  from  the  side  of  the  Danube,  and,  since  the 
almost  completed  subjection  of  the  north  of  Germany,  menaced  them 
also  from  the  Maine,  he  persuaded  his  people  to  quit  their  districts,  and 
to  withdraw  to  other  settlements  towards  the  east.  The  Marcomanni, 
who,  by  their  warlike  constitution,  were  speedily  ready  and  resolved 
for  any  movement,  broke  up,  and  Marbodius  led  them  to  Bohemia,  a 
country  well  defended  on  all  sides  by  mountains;  they  drove  hence 
the  Gallic  tribe  of  the  Boji,  which  had  for  generations  past  wandered 
thither,  subjected  many  tribes  around,  and  founded  a  great,  well- 
regulated  Marcomannic  kingdom.  His  capital  was  Bubienum,  called 
also  Marobudum,  according  to  some  the  present  Prague,  according 
to  others  Budweis.  The  Hermunduri,  Longobardi,  and  Senoni,  the 
flower  of  the  Suevi,  became  dependent,  and  thus  his  power  extended 
from  the  Danube  across  the  centre  of  Germany  to  the  Elbe.  Hence- 
forward he  addressed  the  Roman  emperors  not  humbly  as  one  sub- 
ordinate and  weak,  but  as  their  equal. 

He  had  thus  far  conducted  his  affairs  laudably,  and  he  might  now 
have  become,  as  it  were,  a  frontier  defence  for  the  freedom  of  the 


whole  of  Germany;  but  it  almost  appears  as  if  he  had  learnt  too 
much  in  Rome.  He  had  acquired  the  love  of  dominion  also  from  the 
Roman  emperors,  and  had  at  the  same  time  perceived  the  art  whereby 
the  exercise  of  power  over  men  otherwise  free  born,  may  be  confirmed. 
He  maintained  a  body  guard,  introduced  all  other  Roman  regula- 
tions, and  hitherto  no  single  individual  had  ever  practised  so  much 
authority  among  the  German  tribes.  His  army  consisted  of  70,000  in- 
fantry and  4000  cavalry,  and  he  kept  it  in  constant  practice  by  his  con- 
tinual wars  with  his  neighbours,  so  that  it  could  be  well  seen  that  he  was 
preparing  it  for  still  greater  purposes.  This,  however,  constituted  the 
condemnable  and  distinctive  feature  in  his  character,  whence,  in  truth, 
he  cannot  be  called  a  great  man ;  inasmuch  as  all  this  was  accom- 
plished, not  for  the  freedom  and  happiness  of  his  people,  but  solely 
for  himself,  and  in  order  that  he  might  alone  be  called  great  and 
powerful,  and  become  honoured  and  feared. 

He  had  already  appeared  so  dangerous  to  the  Romans,  that  Tiberius, 
the  son  of  the  emperor,  in  the  year  7  A.  D.,  advanced  against  him  with 
a  large  army.  He  intended  to  attack  him  from  two  sides  with 
twenty-two  legions,  and  he  was  already  in  full  march,  when  intelli- 
gence reached  him  that  a  great  rebellion  had  broken  out  in  Hun- 
gary, Dalmatia,  and  Illyria,  and  that  all  the  tribes  from  the  Adriatic 
to  the  Black  Sea,  who  dwelt  upon  the  Danube  and  among  the 
mountains,  had  conspired  against  the  Romans,  and  had  collected  an 
army  of  200,000  infantry  and  9000  calvary,  with  which  they  were 
determined  to  invade  Italy.  Fright  and  terror  seized  upon  all  in 
Rome,  and  the  Emperor  Augustus  exclaimed  in  the  senate,  "  Ten 
days  hence  the  enemy  may  be  within  sight  of  Rome !" 

Tiberius  immediately  concluded  a  peace  with  Marbodius,  which 
was  favourable  to  the  latter,  and  hastened  with  his  whole  army 
against  the  Pannonian  tribes;  and,  after  three  years  of  the  most  ob- 
durate war,  he  succeeded  in  diverting  the  great  danger,  and  brought 
these  tribes  again  under  the  dominion  of  his  father.  The  latter  re- 
joiced, however,  but  little  in  this  good  fortune;  for,  on  another  side 
of  his  empire,  the  Germans  had  caused  him  the  greatest  loss,  and 
had  involved  him  in  calamities  the  most  serious  he  had  ever  ex- 
perienced during  his  whole  life. 


Arminius,  or  Hermann — Arininius  and  Varus — Arminius  and  Germanicus — The 

death  of  Arminius,  21  A.  D. — Further  Wars  between  the  Germans  and  Romans 

War  with  the  Marcomanni,  167 — 180— The  Germanic  Confederations— The  Ale- 
manni— The  Franks— The  Saxon  Confederation— The  Goths— The  Decline  of  the 
Roman  Empire. 

THE  campaigns  and  forts  of  Drusus,  and  the  crafty,  cunningly- 


devised  arts  of  Tiberius,  had  effected  so  much  in  Lower  Germany, 
as  we  have  above  seen,  that  as  far  as  the  Weser,  no  armed  tribe  any 
longer  openly  opposed  the  Romans.  All  was  bowed  down,  the  unions 
of  the  tribes  were  sundered,  and  the  minds  of  many  of  the  leading 
men  had  been  poisoned  by  the  seductions  of  the  .Romans.  They 
already  began  to  appear  a  different  race  of  men,  habit  and  intercourse 
with  the  strangers  commenced  already  to  obliterate  their  national 
manners.  Markets  sprang  up  and  were  established  around  the  Ro- 
man camps,  and  enticed  the  Germans  to  purchase  and  barter.  Even 
the  earth  and  heavens,  says  a  Roman  writer,  appeared  to  be  more  gentle 
and  mild,  for  the  forests  had  become  penetrated  and  passable,  and 
bridges  and  dykes  were  built  across  the  morasses.  Three  complete 
legions,  the  best  of  the  Roman  army,  kept  guard  in  the  numerous  forts 
and  camps,  and  in  the  midst  of  our  lofty  forests  of  oak,  a  Roman  Prastor- 
ship  was  established,  together  with  Roman  laws,  legal  institutions, 
and  appointed  functionaries.  The  Roman  governor,  Sentius  Satur- 
ninus,  who  was  in  Germany  in  the  year  5  or  6  A.  D.,  contributed 
much  to  these  changes ;  he  was  a  man  who  united  old  Roman  honesty 
with  affability.  He  took  pleasure  in  feats  and  enjoyments,  and  im- 
parted to  the  Germans  a  greater  love  for  the  refined  mode  of  life 
among  the  Romans.  Quintilius  Varus  succeeded  him  in  the  autumn 
of  the  year  6 ;  a  man  of  a  weak  mind,  who  was  more  adapted  for  the 
occupations  of  peace  than  of  war,  and  besides  which,  was  addicted 
to  avarice,  For  it  was  said  of  him,  that  he  entered  the  rich  pro- 
vince of  Syria,  where  he  had  just  been  governor,  a  poor  man;  but 
when  he  quitted  it,  he  himself  had  become  rich  and  had  left  the 
province  itself  poor.  The  Germans,  to  this  weak-minded  man,  ap- 
peared thoroughly  subjected,  because  they  were  tranquil,  and  he  en- 
deavoured to  fix  slavery  among  them  by  those  gentle  but  effective 
means,  which  are  more  pernicious  and  destructive  than  the  power  of 
the  sword,  because  they  assume  an  innocent  garb.  He  sat  in  judg- 
ment upon  the  Germans,  as  among  Romans;  decided  upon  the 
freedom  and  property  of  Germans,  and  the  Roman  lawyers,  instead 
of  the  straightforward  and  simple  German  custom,  sought  to  intro- 
duce the  subtle  and  perplexing  arts  of  Roman  jurisprudence.  If  it 
be  desired  to  fix  within  the  heart  of  a  nation,  a  secretly  devouring 
and  destructive  worm,  which  shall  gradually  reduce  it  to  that  state 
of  degradation  that  it  becomes  careless  to  all  magnanimous  ideas,  the 
love  of  country  and  compatriots — substituting  instead,  the  more  de- 
basing, petty,  selfish  considerations — it  is  only  necessary  to  imbue  it 
with  a  love  of  law  and  disputation,  that  all  may  become  embittered 
against  each  other,  and  that  every  one  shall  know  nothing  greater 
than  his  own  advantage.  And  as  all  judicial  proceedings  were  con- 
ducted in  the  Roman  language,  it  was  likewise  intended  thus  to  intro- 
duce and  establish  that  tongue  among  the  Germans.  For,  in  order 
to  thoroughly  annihilate  the  idiocrasy,  freedom,  and  independent 
feelings  of  a  people,  and  to  mould  it  into  an  entirely  new  form,  it 
is  only  necessary  to  deprive  it  likewise  of  its  peculiar  hereditary 
possession — its  mother  tongue. 


Varus,  However,  Lad  mucli  miscalculated  wlien  lac  supposed  the 
rude  Germans  were  insensible  to  these  cunning  arts.  The  understand- 
ing of  uncultivated  nations  is  keenly  alive  to  those  who  wish  to  en- 
close them  within  nets,  and  the  Germans  were  supplied  by  nature 
with  a  healthy  mind  andgood  discernment.  They  quickly  perceived  the 
source  and  central  point  of  ruin,  and  they  were  beyond  all  things  filled 
with  inward  rage  at  the  view  of  the  lictors'  rods  or  fasces  of  the  Roman 
governor,  which  were  the  attributes  of  his  power  of  awarding  corpo- 
real punishment,  or  even  death  itself.  Nothing  was  more  degrading  to 
the  free  German  than  corporeal  punishment,  the  disgrace  of  the  most 
abject  slavery;  and  the  power  of  punishing  with  death,  they  did  not 
even  allow  to  their  own  princes,  but  conceded  it  to  the  divinity 
alone,  who  proclaimed  the  sentence  through  the  voice  of  his  priests. 

Their  wrath,  however,  durst  not  give  itself  utterance,  but  it  re- 
mained long  concealed  in  the  breasts  of  individuals,  for  there  was  no 
one  near,  who  with  a  bold  mind  could  collect  and  fan  the  glimmering 
sparks  into  a  broad  flame.  But  it  was  Rome  itself  that  was  chosen  to 
nurture  and  bring  up  to  maturity  the  saviour  of  German  freedom. 
This  was  Arminius,  (whom  we  are  accustomed  to  call  Hermann)  the 
son  of  Segimer,  prince  of  the  Cherusci ;  a  youth  of  valiant  heart  and 
arm,  of  a  clear,  quick  mind,  whose  eyes  proclaimed  the  fire  of  his  soul. 
By  distinguished  military  service  he  had  acquired  the  right  and 
dignity  of  a  Roman  citizen  and  knight,  and  had  returned  to  his 
country  well  instructed  and  practised  in  all  the  arts  of  war  and  peace. 
He  here  perceived  the  disgrace  and  ruin  which  was  being  prepared 
for  his  native  country;  and  his  mind  pondered  upon  the  great  means 
of  remedy.  He  speedily  discovered  a  similar  feeling  to  reign  among 
the  noblest  of  the  Cherusci  and  the  neighbouring  tribes ;  his  inflam- 
ing word  inspired  their  courage;  they  prepared  the  grand  blow  of 
deliverance,  and  in  order  to  destroy  the  Romans  the  more  securely, 
they  enticed  Varus  by  a  planned  rebellion  to  the  frontiers — as  it 
is  related  by  the  Roman  writers — still  farther  away  from  the  Rhine, 
into  the  depths  of  the  Teutoburger  forest,  which  flanked  the  districts 
towards  the  Weser. 

Varus,  however,  might  still  have  escaped  his  fate,  through 
treachery :  the  traitor  "being  found  amongst  the  Germans  themselves, 
in  the  person  of  Segestes,  a  prince  of  the  Cherusci,  who  was  an  enemy  to 
Segimer ;  whilst  he  was  envious  also  of  Arminius's  great  reputation,  and 
jealous  because  this  much  younger  man,  by  the  powers  of  his  mind 
and  his  heroic  virtues,  attracted  the  eyes  of  all  the  tribes  upon  him. 
Even  the  day  before  the  breaking  out  of  the  conspiracy,  when  Varus 
had  collected  the  princes  at  a  banquet,  Segestus  entreated  him  most 
earnestly  to  take  Arminius  prisoner  on  the  spot ;  but  a  blind  confi- 
dence in  his  own  power,  concealed  from  the  governor  the  abyss  that 
yawned  beneath  his  feet.  He  advanced  still  deeper  into  the  forest 
which  covered  the  country  of  the  Weser,  and  the  princes  quitted 
him  with  the  promise  of  immediately  joining  him  with  their  auxiliary 
troops.  They  came — their  plan  being  well  and  happily  laid— and  in 


the  midst  of  the  Teutoburger  forest  (in  the  present  principality  of 
Lippe-Detmol),  where  there  are  on  all  sides  mountains  and  narrow  val- 
leys, they  met  him.  Nowhere  around  was  a  beaten  path  visible,  no- 
thing but  athickly  grown  and  impenetrable  wood.  Trees  were  obliged 
to  be  hewn,  pits  and  morasses  filled  up,  and  bridges  built.  It  was  in  the 
stormy  autumn  season — the  month  of  September; — heavy  rains  had 
made  the  ground  slippery  and  every  step  unsafe,  whilst  the  tempest 
roared  at  the  summits  of  the  oaks,  whence  the  tutelary  deities  of 
the  country  seemed  wrathfully  to  threaten.  Warriors,  beasts  of 
burden,  loaded  with  baggage  and  munition,  all  passed  heedlessly  on, 
as  in  perfect  security. 

Amidst  these  terrors  of  nature,  appeared  suddenly,  on  all  sides, 
occupying  the  heights,  the  Germans  as  foes,  hurling  forth  their 
destructive  weapons  against  the  compressed  masses  of  Romans. 
These  could  but  little  defend  themselves  in  their  heavy  armour,  upon 
a  slippery  ground,  and  with  arms  which  were  spoilt  for  use  by  the 
continued  rain.  They,  however,  continued  their  course  under  con- 
tinual attacks,  and  arrived  in  the  evening  at  a  spot  where  a  camp 
might  be  constructed.  Fatigued  as  all  were,  they  nevertheless 
exerted  their  utmost  powers  to  raise  defences  which  should  keep 
the  enemy  off,  in  order  to  provide  themselves  with  at  least  one  quiet 
night,  were  it  even  to  be  their  last.  Thus  they  awaited  the  dawn 
of  day  between  hope  and  fear.  In  the  morning  every  thing  unne- 
cessary was  burnt;  the  soldiers  were  thereby  made  lighter  for  battle, 
and  the  baggage  was  also  diminished;  this,  together  with  the  women 
and  children,  of  whom  there  was  a  great  number  with  the  expe- 
dition (as  no  war  had  been  anticipated),  they  placed  in  their  centre, 
and  commenced  their  retreat,  probably  in  the  direction  of  their  fort 
Aliso.  Their  fate  seemed  to  brighten ;  they  came  to  a  more  open 
space,  where  they  could  muster  and  regulate  their  ranks,  and  where 
the  Germans  did  not  venture  to  attack  them ;  but  this  was  to  be  no 
resting-place  for  them,  they  were  to  resume  their  march  forward,  and 
the  terrific  forest  once  more  received  them.  The  enemy  renewed 
and  increased  his  attacks;  the  tempest  still  continued,  at  which  the 
Germans  exclaimed  as  they  pursued  the  Romans:  "  Behold  this  is 
done  by  our  God,  who  will  this  day  revenge  our  wrongs  upon  our 
enemies."  Many  of  the  most  valiant  Romans  sank  beneath  their 
wrathful,  and  unceasingly  emboldened  attacks. 

In  this  desperate  position  night  appeared  a  second  time,  and  they 
again  endeavoured  to  construct  defences.  But  the  attacking  enemy, 
with  his  cries  of  victory,  left  them  no  time,  and  then,  when  heaven 
and  earth  seemed  to  oppose  them,  and  there  was  no  hope  of  salva- 
tion, the  courage  of  the  bravest  sank.  Varus,  seeing  now  that  all 
was  lost,  and  having  already  received  several  wounds,  cast  himself 
upon  his  sword;  many  of  the  leaders  followed  his  example,  whilst 
the  whole  army  was  either  made  prisoners  or  killed,  very  few  escap- 
ing. This  last  battle  took  place,  according  to  the  most  recent  re- 
searches, very  probably  between  the  present  Horn  and  Lippe  spring, 


on  the  southern  borders  of  the  Lippe.*  Thus  was  annihilated  the 
finest  and  most  valiant  of  all  the  Roman  armies,  with  the  auxiliaries, 
40,000  men  strong.  This  was  the  hour  of  the  heavy  retaliation  that 
was  to  be  expected  upon  some  such  day,  from  the  fury  of  a  severely 
oppressed,  freedom-loving,  but  still  savage  people.  Many  of  the 
most  distinguished  prisoners  bled  as  sacrifices  upon  the  altars  of 
the  native  divinities,  others  who  retained  their  lives,  were  used 
for  the  most  degrading  services ;  and  as  the  Romans  themselves  in- 
form us,  several  of  their  distinguished  countrymen,  to  whom  at  home, 
the  gates  of  entrance  into  the  senate  were  open,  concluded  their 
miserable  lives  as  the  herdsmen  of  German  flocks,  or  as  the  keepers  or 
porters  of  German  gates.  It  is  also  related,  how  embittered  the  Ger- 
mans showed  themselves  towards  the  Roman  judicial  functionaries, 
with  the  feeling,  as  it  were,  that  it  was  by  their  arts  that  the  greatest 
danger  was  prepared  against  freedom  and  independence ;  and  further, 
that  a  German  tore  out  the  tongue  of  one  of  these  functionaries 
with  the  caustic  words,  "Now  cease  hissing,  adder!"  Such  is  the 
account  of  the  great  German  battle  of  freedom,  according  to  the  re- 
lation of  our  enemies  themselves.  In  what  a  different  light  should 
we  not  behold  it,  had  we  the  testimony  thereupon  of  even  one 
German  historian ! 

But  the  opinion  of  all  is  unanimous  and  fixed,  and  it  is  confirmed 
by  the  confession  of  the  Romans  themselves,  that  our  fatherland 
owes  its  freedom  to  this  great  victory  in  the  Teutoburger  forest,  and 
we,  the  descendants  of  those  races,  are  indebted  to  it  for  the  un- 
mixed German  blood  which  flows  in  our  veins,  and  for  the  pure 
German  sounds  pronounced  by  our  tongue.  But  in  Rome  there 
was  universal  alarm  and  mourning ;  whilst  the  Germans  were  full 
of  rejoicing,  and,  storming  the  forts  on  this  side  of  the  Rhine,f 
cleared  the  whole  country  of  the  Romans.  The  Emperor  Augustus 
was  beside  himself;  in  his  fury  he  struck  his  head  against  the  wall, 
and  constantly  exclaimed:  "Oh,  Varus,  Varus,  restore  me  my  le- 
gions !"  For  some  months  he  allowed  his  beard  and  hair  to  grow, 
the  guards  of  the  city  were  doubled,  and  that  no  riot  might  occur,  the 
Germans  were  despatched  from  Rome,  and  even  the  German  body- 
guard was  conveyed  across  the  sea  into  the  islands.  At  last  Augustus 
vowed  great  festivals  to  his  god  Jupiter,  "  Should  his  empire  attain 
a  more  flourishing  state." — Thus  did  it  happen  in  the  Cimbrian  war. 

In  order  to  meet  the  more  extensive  incursions  of  the  Germans 
which  were  now  expected  as  certain,  consequent  upon  this  victory, 
Tiberius  was  hastily  despatched  to  the  Rhine  with  a  rapidly  collected 
army;  to  his  astonishment,  however,  he  found  every  thing  quiet. 

*  The  three  days  of  battle  have  been  calculated  by  M.  Schmidt,  not  without  inge- 
nuity, to  have  taken  place  about  the  9th,  10th,  and  llth  of  September. 

f  Aliso  held  out  the  longest.  It  was  so  strong,  that  the  Germans,  being  without 
a  knowledge  of  the  art  of  besieging  and  the  necessary  instruments,  could  not  con- 
quer it  by  force.  They  had,  therefore,  recourse  to  famine;  but  the  Eoman  garrison, 
managed,  in  .an  unwatched  moment,  by  a  ruse  de  guerre,  to  slip  out,  and,  although 
with  loss,  they  nevertheless  succeeded  in  reaching  the  Rliine. 


The  Germans  did  not  desire  conquest,  they  wished  only  to  protect 
their  freedom,  and  according  to  the  very  nature  of  their  alliance, 
after  the  danger  was  removed  each  returned  to  his  home.  Tiberius 
held  the  vacillating  Gaul  in  obedience,  and  passed  again  across  the 
Rhine  but  without  proceeding  very  far  into  the  country,  and  as  in  a 
few  years  afterwards  he  succeeded  Augustus  in  the  empire,  he  trans- 
ferred to  his  nephew,  Germanicus,  the  son  of  Drusus,  the  management 
of  the  war  against  the  Germans. 

Germanicus,  a  young  and  ardent  hero,  had  before  his  mind  the 
great  example  of  his  father,  and  he  resolved  to  revenge  the  defeat  of 
Varus.  He  undertook  three  grand  campaigns  in  lower  Germany, 
in  the  same  districts  where  war  had  previously  raged  on  the  Lippe, 
and  from  the  sea  up  the  Ems  towards  the  Weser  and  the  Elbe. 
Germany  was  now  again  menaced  with  fresh  danger,  for  Germanicus 
was  a  warrior  worthy  of  the  best  ages  of  Rome.  But  equally  as 
Arminius  had  obtained  victory  over  bad  leaders,  so  did  he  now  with 
so  much  craft  and  valour  resist  those  better  chiefs  who  advanced 
with  large  armies,  that  although  he  was  not  always  victorious  in  his 
battles,  he  obliged  his  opponent  at  the  end  of  every  campaign  to 
withdraw  to  his  fortresses  on  the  Rhine.  And  thus,  on  these  occa- 
sions, he  did  not  less  for  the  freedom  of  his  fatherland  than  he  had 
previously  done  in  the  annihilation  of  the  legions  of  Varus. 

Germanicus  made  his  first  campaign  in  the  year  14  A.  D.,  with 
12,000  Romans  and  a  multitude  of  allies  from  the  Rhine,  where 
Biiderich  and  Wesel  now  lie,  through  the  Caesarean  forest  in  the  vici- 
nity of  the  Marsi,  and  fell  craftily  from  several  sides  upon  the  un- 
prepared enemy  (who,  thinking  themselves  in  the  midst  of  peace, 
were  at  the  time  celebrating  a  great  festival),  and  destroyed  the 
country  for  fifty  miles  around  with  fire  and  sword.  No  age,  no 
sex  were  spared,  and  a  widely  celebrated  temple — that  of  Taufana — 
(according  to  some  in  Tecklenburg,  according  to  others  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  present  Minister)  was  destroyed.  He  did  not  press 
farther  into  Lower  Germany,  for  now  the  Brukteri,  the  Tubanti, 
and  Usipeti,  speedily  collected  themselves  to  revenge  the  mis- 
fortune of  their  friends.  The  retreat  of  the  Romans  was  not  unac- 
companied by  difficulties.  It  was  dhly  by  prudence  and  strict 
order  that  Germanicus  led  his  legions  successfully  back  across  the 

In  the  following  year,  after  he  had  first  attacked  the  Chatti,  who 
had  joined  the  confederation  of  the  tribes  under  Arminius,  he  rescued 
Segestes,  who  was  hated  by  his  own  tribe,  and  who  applied  to  him 
for  assistance  and  rescue  from  the  hands  of  his  opponents.  The  feud 
between  the  two  hostile  houses  had  again  broke  out.  Arminius,  who 
loved  Thusnelda,  third  daughter  of  Segestes,  and  whom  the  father  re- 
fused to  give  to  him  in  marriage,  had  eloped  with,  and  made  her  his 
wife.  Her  father,  however,  recaptured  her,  and  brought  her  back  to 
his  castle.  Here  he  was  besieged  by  Arminius,  in  order  to  recover  his 
wife;  but  Germanicus  meantime  delivered  Segestes,  and  upon  this 


occasion  he  took  prisoner  Arminius's  consort,  Thusnelda,  and  con- 
ducted her  to  Rome.  But  she  never  forgot  her  husband  or  her  high 
rank,  and  in  her  sentiments  she  fortunately  more  resembled  him  than 
her  father.  Segestes,  on  the  contrary,  who  had  now  found  a  pro- 
tector, addressed  the  Romans  in  the  same  sense  as  at  all  times  is  usual 
from  such  as  have  betrayed  their  country:  "  This  is  not  the  first  day 
of  my  fidelity  and  constancy  towards  the  Roman  people !" — he  ex- 
claimed :  "  Since  I  was  made  a  Roman  citizen  by  the  divine  Augustus, 
I  have,  in  the  selection  of  my  friends  and  enemies,  had  solely  your 
advantage  in  view;  not  from  hatred  towards  my  country —  for 
traitors  are  hateful  to  those  to  whom  they  twin — but  from  the  con- 
viction that  the  same  thing  is  beneficial  to  both  Romans  and  Ger- 
mans, and  because  I  prefer  peace  to  war,  the  old  order  of  things 
to  the  new,  and  tranquillity  to  turmoil.  And  now  that  I  am  with 
you,  I  can  become  to  the  German  people  a  useful  advocate — should 
they  choose  repentance  instead  of  ruin." 

Thus  spoke  Segestes.  Augustus  promised  him  protection,  and  se- 
lected a  dwelling  for  him  on  the  Rhine.  Arminius,  however,  felt 
the  most  violent  rage  and  indignation,  and  above  all  it  pained  him 
most  deeply,  to  think,  that  the  child  with  which  his  consort  was 
pregnant,  must  first  behold  the  light  of  day  in  slavery  among 
the  Romans.  Acting  upon  these  feelings,  he  forthwith  traversed 
the  land  of  the  Cherusci,  summoning  them  all  to  the  war  against 
Segestes,  and  against  the  Romans.  His  words  are  rife  with  the 
most  bitter  energy:  "The  noble  father!  the  great  leader!  the 
valiant  army  !"  he  exclaimed,  ironically,  "  who  all  combined  together 
to  carry  off  a  weak  woman !  Before  me  three  legions,  and  as  many 
leaders  have  fallen;  /  do  not  conduct  war  by  treachery  and  against 
pregnant  women,  but  openly  against  the  armed;  and  in  our  German 
groves  are  now  to  be  seen  the  Roman  banners  which  I  have  there 
consecrated  to  our  native  divinities.  Let  Segestes  continue  to 
dwell  upon  the  subjected  banks  of  the  Rhine.  Let  him  there  ob- 
tain the  priestly  dignity  for  his  son;  but  let  him  know  that  the 
Germans  will  never  forgive  him,  or  forget  that  they  have  seen  be- 
tween the  Rhine  and  the  Elbe  the  Roman  fasces  and  the  Roman 
toga.  If,  therefore,  my  countrymen,  your  fatherland  and  fa- 
milies, and  our  ancient  German  manners  are  dearer  to  you  than  alien 
rulers  and  their  followers,  then  join  Arminius,  who  will  lead  you  to 
glory  and  freedom,  rather  than  obey  Segestes,  who  will  only  con- 
duct you  to  disgrace  and  slavery !" 

By  such  fiery  language  he  excited  and  collected  together  the 
Cherusci  and  allied  tribes,  and  at  their  head  appeared  at  his  side 
his  uncle,  Inguiomar,  as  the  Romans  call  him,  who  stood  in  great 
respect  and  esteem  among  the  people. 

Germanicus  had  already  retired  with  his  legions  to  the  Rhine; 
upon  receiving  intelligence,  however,  of  this  fresh  and  great  rising 
of  the  German  tribes,  he  resolved  upon  another  expedition  that  same 
year  so  as  to  prevent  them  from  making  an  attack  upon  the  Rhine. 


In  order  to  pass  more  rapidly,  and  from  several  sides  into  the  heart 
of  the  country  of  the  enemy,  he,  according  to  his  father's  example, 
led  a  portion  of  his  army  by  sea  to  the  estuary  of  the  Ems;  two 
other  divisions  under  Coecina  and  Pedo  advanced  from  the  Rhine 
through  the  interior  of  the  country,  and  thus  the  infantry,  cavalry, 
and  the  flotilla  met  together  in  Westphalia.  Unfortunately  the 
Romans  were  not  without  German  auxiliaries ;  they  had  Batavian 
cavalry  with  them — and  besides  these,  troops  from  the  Tyrol  and 
Salzburg,  as  also  from  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine.  The  country 
that  lay  between  the  Ems  and  the  Lippe  was  devastated ;  the  Bruk- 
teri  destroyed  their  own  country  themselves,  that  a  waste  might  lie  be- 
fore the  Romans;  but  the  latter  pressed  onward,  re-captured  in  their 
pursuit  of  the  Brukteri  the  eagle  of  the  (19th)  legion,  which  the 
latter  had  taken  in  the  battle  with  Varus,  and  arrived  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  Teutoburger  forest,  where  Varus  had  been  de- 
stroyed. Germanicus  glowed  with  the  desire  to  show  the  last 
honour  to  the  fallen  leader  and  his  army ;  he  sent  Coecina  forward 
to  inspect  the  mountains  and  passes,  and  to  lay  bridges  and  dams 
over  the  deceptive  morasses;  and  then  he  himself  advanced  and 
marched  over  the  melancholy  scene,  ghastly  and  terrific  in  its 
appearance  as  well  as  in  its  associations.  The  vestiges  of  the  first 
camp  of  Varus  might  still  be  recognised  by  the  larger  circuit  of 
ground,  capable  of  containing  three  complete  legions;  the  second 
encampment  was  smaller,  the  wall  half  demolished,  and  the  trench 
filled  up  and  level.  It  was  perceptible  that  the  last  remnant  of  the 
army  had  encamped  itself  there  until  they  were  at  length  overpowered. 
In  the  middle  of  the  plain  heaps  of  whitening  bones,  the  remains  of 
the  vanquished  army,  lay  strewed  around,  and  beside  them  were 
scattered  about  the  fragments  of  lances,  the  bones  of  horses,  and 
even  heads  transfixed  to  the  trunks  of  trees.  In  the  neighbouring 
groves  the  altars  still  remained,  upon  which  the  commanders  and  most 
distinguished  leaders  had  been  sacrificed  to  the  gods.  And  some  few, 
who,  having  survived  the  battle  and  escaped  from  slavery,  had  joined 
the  present  army,  pointed  out  here  a  spot  where  a  leader  fell,  there 
where  an  eagle  was  seized — yonder  where  Varus  received  his  first 
wound,  and  finally,  where,  further  on,  he  gave  himself  his  death 

The  Roman  army  then,  in  the  sixth  year  after  this  defeat,  buried 
the  bones  of  the  three  legions  without  any  one  of  them  knowing 
whether  he  covered  with  earth  the  remains  of  his  friend  or  enemy; 
the  commander  himself  planting  the  first  turf  upon  the  mound.  The 
army  now  advanced  with  increased  fury  against  the  enemy.  Armi- 
nius  had  well  understood  his  own  advantage,  and  retired  into  the 
forests  and  morasses ;  and  when  the  Romans  incautiously  followed  him, 
he  broke  forth,  repulsed  the  cavalry,  and  drove  them  back  upon  the 
infantry.  But  when  Germanicus  advanced  with  the  disciplined  legions, 
he  retired,  and  the  contest  remained  undecided.  The  results,  how- 
ever, were  nevertheless  those  of  a  victory;  the  Romans  commenced 


their  retreat:  Ccecina,  one  of  the  before-mentioned  leaders,  serving 
under  Germanicus,  proceeded  with  four  legions  across  the  country 
towards  the  Rhine ;  Vitellius,  another  leader,  marched  with  two  le- 
gions towards  the  shores  of  the  sea;  and  Germanicus  himself  with 
the  third  body,  embarked  upon  the  ships. 

The  road  taken  by  Coecina  was  that  of  the  formerly  noticed  ponies 
longi,  or  long  bridges,  a  narrow  dam  road  which  ran  across  immense 
morasses.  All  around  were  gently  rising  wooded  heights;*  these 
heights  Arminius  now  occupied,  whence  he  courageously  attacked 
the  Romans,  and  but  little  was  wanting  for  Coecina  to  suffer  the  same 
fate  as  Varus.  The  dams  and  bridges  had  become  so  ruined  with 
age,  that  it  was  found  necessary  to  repair  them,  whilst  at  the  same 
time  a  camp  was  formed,  and  efforts  made  to  keep  the  enemy  off. 
Many  of  the  Romans  sank  into  the  morass,  for  the  Cherusci,  who 
knew  the  locality  well,  drove  them  to  the  most  dangerous  parts,  and 
as  these  people  were  accustomed  to  fight  amongst  bogs,  they,  by  their 
great  length  of  body,  and  their  monstrous  javelins  which  they  knew 
well  how  to  cast  from  a  distance,  brought  the  Romans  into  great  diffi- 
culties. Night  alone  saved  the  already  wavering  legions  from  the 
ruinous  battle.  But  the  Germans  even  then  indulged  in  no  repose, 
for  they  guided  the  courses  of  the  springs  which  rose  among  those 
hills,  direct  upon  the  Romans  encamped  below. 

This  was  the  40th  year  that  Coecina  had  either  served  or  com- 
manded as  a  Roman  warrior;  to  him  the  chances  of  war  were  well 
known,  and  his  mind,  therefore,  continued  unalarmed  in  all  situa- 
tions. He  accordingly  gave  his  orders,  and  with  presence  of  mind 
commanded  what  was  most  expedient  in  this  necessity.  The  night 
was  in  a  variety  of  ways  most  tumultuous.  The  Germans  with  their 
rejoicings  and  shouts  made  the  very  valleys  below  resound,  so  that 
even  the  ravines  re-echoed  with  them ;  among  the  Romans  there  were 
only  to  be  seen  isolated  small  fires,  and  here  and  there  was  heard  an 
abrupt  voice,  they  themselves  lying  dispersed  along  the  walls,  or 
gliding  about  the  tents,  more  because  they  were  sleepless,  than  that 
they  were  watchful.  Ccecina  himself  was  alarmed  by  a  bad  dream. 
He  thought  he  saw  Varus  rise  spotted  with  blood,  from  the  morass, 
and  beckon  to  him;  but  the  Roman  did  not  follow  him,  and  when 
the  former  extended  his  hand  towards  him  he  struck  it  back. 

At  break  of  day  the  march  was  continued  as  Coecina  had  arranged 
it,  so  that  he  was  covered  by  two  legions  on  each  side.  They,  how- 
ever, quitted  their  position  upon  the  Germans  attacking  them  with 
renewed  fury,  led  by  Arminius,  who  called  out  to  them,  "  Here, 
Varus !  here  are  the  legions  already  conquered  by  a  like  fate !"  The 
battle  was  severe  and  animated.  Coecina  himself  fell  with  his  wounded 
horse,  and  must  have  been  destroyed  had  not  the  first  legion  thrown 
themselves  before  him.  The  baggage  and  munition  fell  into  the  hands 

*  Probably  the  forest  heights  of  Mons  CCESIUS,  the  so-called  Baumberge,  between 
Horstmar,  Schapdetten,  and  Csesfeld,  where  the  sources  of  the  Aa,  Stewer,  Berckel, 
and  several  rivulets  are  found. 


of  tlie  enemy,  and  the  loss  of  these  was  the  salvation  of  the  Romans, 
for  they  enticed  the  booty-loving  Germans  from  slaughter  to  pillage, 
and  the  legions  thus  at  last  arrived  on  the  open  plain,  where  they 
encamped.*  Their  condition  was  nevertheless  deplorable,  and  the 
soldiers  already  began  to  complain  aloud,  that  only  one  day  was  now 
left  for  so  many  thousands  to  live;  and  so  great  was  their  terror 
that,  when  a  horse  which  had  escaped,  ran  towards  a  few  soldiers 
standing  in  its  way,  they  all  thought  the  Germans  had  now  broken 
into  the  camp,  and  they  fled  towards  its  back  gates.  Coecina,  to 
bring  them  to  a  stand,  used  intreaties,  commands,  and  threats  of 
punishment,  but  in  vain;  and  as  a  last  resource,  he  cast  himself  down 
across  the  gate,  so  that  the  fugitives  could  pass  only  over  his  body, 
and  this  desperate  state  of  their  old  and  honoured  leader,  brought 
them  at  once  to  their  senses  and  stopped  their  flight. 

In  the  mean  time  the  Germans  had  surrounded  the  camp.  Ar- 
minius,  who  knew  the  firmness  of  a  Roman  encampment,  would 
not  venture  to  storm  it,  but  preferred  conquering  the  enemy  by 
famine.  His  uncle,  Inguiomar,  on  the  contrary,  insisted  upon  a 
speedy  attack,  and  his  advice,  because  it  was  bolder,  pleased  the 
Germans  better.  They  stormed  the  camp  accordingly,  but  just  in  the 
decisive  moment  Coecina  caused  his  troops  to  sally  out,  beat  back 
the  besiegers,  and  forced  them  to  flight.  Arminius  left  the  battle 
without  a  wound,  but  Inguiomar,  his  uncle,  was  severely  wounded,  and 
the  legions,  as  many  as  were  left  of  them,  arrived  safely  on  the  Rhine. 

For  the  third  campaign,  in  the  16th  year,  A.  D.,  Germanicus  made 
still  greater  preparations  than  he  had  for  the  former.  A  fleet  of  a 
thousand  vessels,  small  and  large,  with  deep  and  broad  holds,  and 
others  with  flat  bottoms  for  landing,  were  collected  to  carry  the 
whole  army,  without  exposing  it  to  the  dangers  previously  expe- 
rienced by  an  expedition  by  land,  into  the  heart  of  northern  Germany, 
and  if  necessary,  so  fitted  as  to  bring  them  also  back  again.  During 
these  preparations  Germanicus  made  a  rapid  expedition  with  six 
legions,  probably  upon  the  road  from  the  Wesel  towards  Lippstadt, 
on  the  northern  banks  of  the  Lippe,  as  far  as  Aliso,  to  raise  the  siege 
of  this  fort,  which  had  been  re-taken  from  the  Germans  and  repaired, 
and  which  they  were  now  again  besieging.  It  succeeded,  for  the 
enemy  dispersed  on  his  approach,  and  he  strengthened  the  highway 
between  Aliso  and  the  Rhine  with  new  defences  and  dams.  But  as 
the  chief  attack  was  to  be  made  from  a  different  side,  he  marched 
back  again  to  the  Rhine,  and  thence  embarked  his  whole  army 
of  not  less  than  90,000  men,  and  passing  through  the  fossa  Dru- 
siana  into  the  North  Sea,  landed  at  the  mouth  of  the  Ems.  The 
Chauci  were  obliged  to  supply  an  auxiliary  army,  and  the  Angri- 
vari  were  forced  into  subjection  on  the  Lower  Weser.  The  Roman 
army  advanced  as  far  as  the  present  Minden.  Arminius,  at  the  head 
of  the  Cherusci  confederation,  opposed  it,  and  a  battle  enftuedatlcfifftz- 

*  Possibly  between  Coesfeld  and  Velen. 
F  2 

68  ARM1NIUS. 

visus,  on  tlie  Weser  (probably  between  Prussian  Minden  and  Vlotlio). 
After  a  long  and  warm  contest,  the  Germans  were  obliged  to  yield 
the  field  to  the  Romans,  after  the  latter  had  gained  the  hills  which 
commanded  the  plain.  But  the  Romans  could  only  attribute  their 
victory  chiefly  to  the  German  auxiliaries  who  were  with  them, 
from  the  North  Sea  and  from  the  Danube ;  and  thus,  even  at  the  very 
commencement  of  our  history,  it  appears  that  Germans  aided 
aliens  in  the  subjection  of  their  compatriots.  But  in  those  rude  ages 
this  must  not  be  severely  censured,  for  these  tribes  from  the  Danube 
had  probably  never  heard  of  the  name  of  the  Cherusci.  In  this  battle 
Arminius  himself  was  wounded,  and  escaped  only  by  the  speed  of 
his  horse ;  and  so  great  was  the  slaughter,  that  from  mid-day  to  the 
very  depth  of  night,  the  work  of  murder  was  continued,  and  the  land 
was  covered  with  bodies  and  arms  to  the  extent  of  fifty  thousand  feet. 

The  subjected  tribes  of  these  districts  had  already  determined  to 
quit  their  seat  between  the  Weser  and  the  Elbe,  and  retire  beyond 
the  latter  river,  when  they  perceived  the  trophies,  which  the  Ro- 
mans had  raised  after  the  battle,  and  inscribed  with  the  names 
of  the  conquered  tribes ;  the  sight  of  this  inflamed  their  wrath  more 
than  their  own  wounds  and  the  remembrance  of  their  fallen  friends. 
The  populace,  the  nobles,  the  young  and  the  old,  all  seized  arms, 
and  again  advanced  against  the  Romans.  A  second  bloody  battle 
took  place  in  a  wooded  district  between  the  Weser  and  the  Steinhu- 
der  Lake,  which  proved  that  the  nations'  force  was  not  yet  broken; 
for  although  the  Romans  ascribed  the  victory  to  themselves,  they 
nevertheless  immediately  afterwards  commenced  their  retreat,  and 
Germany  was  saved.  Henceforth  the  Weser  never  again  saw  a 
Roman  army. 

The  greatest  portion  of  his  warriors,  Germanicus  led  back  by 
water  down  the  Ems  to  the  North  Sea.  But  a  tremendous  storm 
overtook  his  fleet,  destroyed  a  multitude  of  his  vessels,  and  dispersed 
them  on  the  coasts  of  Britain.  He,  himself,  was  shortly  afterwards 
recalled  from  the  command  of  the  armies  on  the  Rhine,  by  the  Em- 
peror Tiberius,  who  was  jealous  of  his  military  fame,  and  he  was 
sent  to  Asia,  where  he  was  destroyed  by  poison  in  the  bloom  of 

Thus  did  this  truly  German  hero,  Arminius,  who  was  equally 
great  whether  in  victory  or  in  a  doubtful  battle,  behold  his  country 
freed  from  the  danger  of  a  foreign  yoke.  The  rapidity  and  strength 
with  which  he  roused  himself  in  misfortune,  and  instilled  new 
courage  into  his  people,  produced  its  salvation.  And  be  it  remem- 
bered, he  had  not  to  contend  merely  with  the  rising  or  sinking 
power  of  the  Romans,  but  whilst  it  stood  in  its  highest  perfection 
and  extent.  Such  an  army  as  fought  against  the  German  forces  in 
most  beautifully  regulated  military  array  at  Idistavisus,  and  near  the 
Steinhuder  Lake,  even  the  most  powerful  empires  of  the  earth 
could  not,  up  to  that  time,  have  resisted. 

After  he  knew  that  the  frontiers  were  secured,  he  turned  against 
an  internal  enemy,  who  had  remained  indifferent  to  the  contest  for 


German  liberty,  and  whose  manners,  aped  from  the  Romans,  together 
with  his  despotism,  made  him  doubly  hateful  to  his  own  tribe,  as  well 
as  to  his  neighbours.  This  was  Marbodius,  the  king  of  the  Marco- 
manni.  After  the  battle  of  the  Teutoburgcr  Forest,  Arminius  had 
sent  the  head  of  Varus  to  Marbodius,  probably  as  a  token  of  victory, 
to  shame  him,  because  he  had  not  taken  part  in  the  league  against 
Rome;  perhaps,  also,  as  an  appeal  to  his  patriotism  to  break  forth,  at 
this  decisive  moment,  from  his  position,  so  favourable  to  the  Ger- 
mans, from  its  being  so  near  and  dangerous  to  the  best  Roman  pro- 
vinces. But  Marbodius  remained  inert.  The  Emperor  Tiberius, 
may  likewise,  perhaps,  have  employed  his  usual  ingenuity — in  order 
to  conquer  fhe  Germans  more  by  stratagem  than  arms — and  have 
contributed  his  share  also  in  this  case,  to  produce  a  division  between 
the  two  German  princes. 

The  power  of  Arminius  was  now  strengthened  by  the  Senoni  and 
Longobardi,  who,  wearied  with  the  system  of  dominion  exercised  by 
Marbodius,  at  once  renounced  him,  and  joined  the  Cherusci;  but, 
on  the  other  hand,  Arminius  was  forced  to  behold  his  uncle,  In- 
guiomar,  desert  his  own  ranks,  and  pass  over  to  those  of  the  enemy. 
Hostilities  appear  to  have  been  commenced  by  Marbodius,  inasmuch 
as  he  was  the  first  to  advance  beyond  the  frontiers ;  very  probably  in 
order  to  overtake  and  chastise  the  renegade  Senoni  and  Longobardi. 
A  severe  and  sanguinary  battle  was  fought,  in  which,  as  Tacitus 
states,  they  did  not  fight  in  irregular  array,  but  with  perfect  mili- 
tary order  and  discipline.  The  result  of  the  action  was  against  Mar- 
bodius ;  he  was  forced  to  retire  back  to  his  country,  and  thereby  lost 
still  more  the  confidence  of  his  people;  and,  finally,  driven  away  by 
the  Gothic  prince,  Katualda,  he  fled  to  the  Romans.  The  latter 
granted  him  a  pension,  perhaps  as  a  reward  for  having  remained  neu- 
tral instead  of  joining  Arminius;  and,  eighteen  years  afterwards,  he 
concluded  his  life — the  means  for  prolonging  which  had  been  fur- 
nished by  Roman  charity — ingloriously  at  Ravenna. 

We  have  no  records  of  the  last  years  of  Arminius,  except  what 
Tacitus  relates  in  a  few  words,  viz. :  that  he  himself  having  become 
suspected  of  indulging  a  desire  to  rule  despotically,  a  conspiracy  was 
formed  against  him,  in  which  his  relatives  (possibly  Segestes  and 
Inguiomar)  participated,  and  he  was  murdered  in  the  year  21,  in 
the  thirty-seventh  year  of  his  age,  and  in  the  twelfth  of  his  chief 
command.  But  we  must  not  forget  that  the  Romans  had  this  tale, 
probably,  from  the  assassins  of  Arminius,  and,  perhaps,  from  their 
old  friend,  Segestes,  himself;  for  the  whole  spirit  and  tenour  of  his 
great  life  testify  that  he  certainly  desired  nothing  more  for  himself 
than  what  was  justly  his  due.  He  may,  however,  have  endeavoured 
to  have  given  to  the  north  German  confederacy — whose  chief  in  war  he 
was — a  permanency  and  stability  likewise  during  peace,  and  thus  have 
drawn  the  confederation  closer  together,  in  order  that  a  new  enemy 
should  not  take  them  unprepared;  and  as  his  great  object  in  this  was 
misunderstood,  his  old  enemv,  Segestes,  and  his  uncle,  who  was  per- 


haps  envious  of  the  great  fame  of  a  nephew,  so  much  his  junior  in  years, 
may  have  availed  themselves  of  the  general  feeling  to  promote  his  down- 
fal.  The  testimony  of  the  great  historian  of  his  enemies,  does  especial 
honour  to  the  memory  of  our  hero ;  for,  after  the  short  narrative  of  his 
death,  he  thus  speaks  of  him:  "  Arminius  was,  without  dispute,  the 
emancipator  of  Germany.  In  battles  not  always  the  victor,  he  never- 
theless remained  in  war  unconquered ;  and  he  is  still  celebrated  in  the 
heroic  songs  of  the  Germans.  He  is  unknown  in  the  chronicles  of 
the  Greeks,  for  they  admire  themselves  alone;  neither  among  us 
Romans  does  his  fame  stand  high  enough,  for  we  elevate  and  dig- 
nify only  that  which  is  ancient,  and  have  but  too  little  regard  for 
that  which  is  modern." 

Henceforth,  the  Romans  thought  no  more  of  subduing  Germany, 
but  applied  themselves  solely  to  the  means  of  securing  their  frontiers 
from  the  incursions  of  the  German  tribes.  They  therefore  continued 
to  add  to  the  strength  of  the  banks  of  the  Rhine  and  the  Danube, 
and  kept  a  considerable  army,  consisting  of  their  best  legions,  as  a 
guard  upon  the  borders.  The  Emperor  Claudius  granted  to  the 
chief  seat  of  the  Ubi  the  distinction  of  a  colony  of  veterans,  and, 
subsequently,  in  honour  of  his  consort  Agrippina,  born  in  that 
spot,  it  was  called,  Colonia  Agrippina  (Cologne).  The  strong  camp 
upon  the  Taunus  mountains,  which  the  Romans  likewise  considered 
as  one  of  the  most  important  points  in  the  district  of  the  Rhine, 
was  re-established  also  by  Claudius. 

In  the  year  69,  another  serious  revolt  again  broke  forth  in  the 
Lower  Rhine,  under  Claudius  Civilis,  a  leader  of  the  Batavian  aux- 
iliary tribes,  and  of  royal  birth.  Like  Hannibal,  one-eyed,  and  of  inde- 
pendent, haughty  spirit,  he  nourished  the  greatest  hatred  towards  the 
Romans,  and,  under  Nero,  had  been  dragged  in  chains  to  Rome,  where 
he  narrowly  escaped  death.  When,  therefore,  now  a  tribute  was 
demanded  from  the  Batavians,  although  they  were  only  bound  to  do 
military  service,  Civilis  invited  all  the  chiefs  to  a  festival  in  the  sacred 
grove,  where  he  communicated  to  them  his  plans,  and,  by  his  elo- 
quence, gained  over  the  whole  body  to  join  in  the  revolt.  Messen- 
gers were  despatched  to  all  the  neighbouring  tribes,  nay,  even  across 
to  Great  Britain;  and  Civilis,  without  further  delay,  forthwith  at- 
tacked and  defeated  a  Roman  encampment,  and  conquered  the  fleet 
on  the  Rhine;  but  not  content  with  small  results,  he  swore  not  to 
cut  his  beard,  or  the  hair  of  his  head,  before  he  had  gained  a  great 
and  signal  victory.  He  was  now  joined  by  the  Caninefati,  Friesi, 
and  several  tribes  of  the  Saxon  race ;  and  as  soon  as  he  had  con- 
quered the  Castra  Vetera,  and  had  destroyed  or  made  captives  several 
legions,  the  whole  body  of  Germans,  dwelling  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  Rhine,  rose  up  and  joined  him,  as  well  as  the  Brukteri  and  other 
tribes  on  the  left  bank ;  for  their  prophetess,  Velleda,  a  Brukterian 
virgin  of  high  rank,  had  predicted  that  the  power  of  Rome  was  now 
approaching  its  end.  Civilis  sent  her  the  most  valuable  portion  of 
the  booty  he  made ;  and  from  her  isolated  tower,  in  the  forest  near 


the  Lippe,  she  herself  directed  the  war.  All  the  fortresses  beyond 
Mentz  were  taken,  Cologne  was  made  to  pledge  itself  to  abolish  the 
Rhenish  dues,  at  the  decree  pronounced  by  Velleda,  that  the  Ger- 
man trade  should  be  open  and  free  from  taxation.  Gallic  tribes,  also, 
joined  the  confederation.  The  Emperor  Vespasian  who  had,  mean- 
time, succeeded  to  the  imperial  throne,  now  despatched  Cerealis,  an 
experienced  and  active  general,  to  the  head-quarters,  where,  on  his 
arrival,  he  at  once  proceeded  to  sow  dissension,  and  produce  sus- 
picion amongst  the  army  of  Civilis  against  their  leader;  and  the 
Gauls,  in  accordance  with  their  usual  changeable  character,  with- 
drew themselves;  whilst  Civilis,  twice  defeated,  was  forced  to  retreat 
among  the  marshes,  and  wade  through  the  dykes.  Numbers  deserted 
him;  Velleda  was  taken  prisoner;  and  Cerealis,  who  gained  over  to 
him  the  passions  of  the  majority,  partly  by  mildness,  partly  by  cun- 
ning, as  well  as  by  mysterious  promises,  offered  terms  of  peace.  Ci- 
vilis then  yielded ;  the  generals  met  on  a  river,  according  to  the  ancient 
German  custom,  and  peace  was  again  restored  under  the  old  con- 
ditions of  furnishing  military  service  only.  Of  the  subsequent  fate 
of  Claudius  Civilis,  nothing  more  is  known. 

After  these  fresh  trials  at  superiority  of  arms,  it  was  but  occasion- 
ally that  any  emperor  essayed  to  obtain  military  fame  against  his  un- 
conquered  neighbours,  and  these  endeavours  were  generally  very  un- 
successful, but  in  order  to  conceal  the  shame  thereof,  they  were  obliged 
to  invent  a  variety  of  plausible  excuses.     No  one,  however,  had  con- 
ducted himself  more  shamelessly  and  ridiculously  than  the  Emperor 
Domitianus,  who  reigned  between  the  years  80  and  90.     He  com- 
menced a  war  with  the  Chatti  but  did  not  venture  to  attack  them  se- 
riously, for  he  quickly  retired,  leaving  his  purpose  unfinished,  and  in 
order  that  he  might  not  return  to  Rome  with  disgrace  and  obloquy,  he 
purchased  tall  and  strong  grown  slaves  in  Gaul,  dressed  them  like  Ger- 
mans, caused  their  hair  to  be  died  yellow  and  arranged  in  the  Ger- 
man fashion,  and  then  led  them  as  if  they  had  been  German  captives 
in  triumph  into  Rome.     In  the  second  century  after  the  birth  of 
Christ,  the  Romans  had  to  endure  a  very  severe  war  with  the  Ger- 
mans which  they  called  the  Marcomannic  war,  because  the  Mar- 
comanni  were  best  known  to  them  from  time  immemorial,  and 
because  their  attack,  combined  with  that  of  the  tribes  of  the  Danube, 
most  immediately  threatened  Italy.     But  a  yet  more  extensive  al- 
liance of  the  tribes  seems  to  have  taken  place,  for  also  on  the  Rhine, 
and  even  on  the  coasts  of  the  Baltic,  the  Romans  had  to  endure  hard 
contests.     But,  unfortunately,  the  accounts  which  we  must  collect 
from  the  later  historians,  (Jul.  Capitolinus,  Arl.  Spartianus,  Dio  Cas- 
sius,  as  extracted  from  Xiphilinus,  Amm.  Marcellinus,  Orosius  and 
others,)  are  very  imperfect.     The  Emperor  Marcus  Aurelius  well 
understood  the  greatness  of  the  danger ;  he  caused  the  priests  to  be 
collected  from  all  parts,  prayers  and  large  sacrifices  to  be  made,  and  the 
oracles  questioned  respecting  the  issue  of  the  war.     It  is  also  related 
by  Lucian,  that  a  wise  man  from  Egypt,  of  the  name  of  Alexander, 


who  had  acquired  great  fame,  was  questioned  respecting  the  Mar- 
comannic  war.  He  replied  that  two  lions,  well  anointed  with  fra- 
grant herbs  and  spices,  should  be  made  to  swim  across  the  Danube 
into  the  enemy's  country,  and  that  victory  would  not  then  fail.  His 
advice  was  followed.  The  Germans,  however,  who  held  these  lions 
to  be  foreign  dogs,  killed  them  with  clubs,  and  immediately  after- 
wards gained  a  great  victory  over  the  Romans. 

The  war  now  became  so  desperate  that  the  emperor  was  neces- 
sitated to  receive  into  his  army  slaves,  gladiators,  and  others,  who 
were  previously  considered  unworthy  to  bear  arms.  Even  a  band  of 
robbers  from  Dalmatia  were  included  in  the  service;  and  the  em- 
peror, that  he  might  find  means  to  carry  on  this  severe  war,  sold  every 
thing  most  precious  in  his  treasury,  together  with  his  pictures,  and 
his  gold  and  silver  vessels,  the  sale  of  which  lasted  two  months. 

The  Marcomanni  nevertheless  pressed  forward  as  far  as  Aquileja, 
which  lies  on  the  frontier  of  Italy,  causing  a  similar  panic  and  con- 
fusion in  Rome  as  at  the  time  when  the  Cimbri  crossed  the  Alps. 

Had  a  weak  emperor  then  governed  the  Roman  empire,  its  fate 
would  probably  have  been  decided.  But  Marcus  Aurelius  was 
a  wise  and  valiant  man,  and  saved  Rome  once  more  from  great  dan- 
ger. He  maintained  a  war  for  thirteen  years  against  the  allied  tribes, 
and  had  to  endure  several  sanguinary  battles,  being  even  obliged  to 
maintain  a  warm  skirmish  with  the  Jazygi  on  the  frozen  Danube; 
and  although  he  brought  many  of  the  tribes  individually  to  peace 
and  thereby  weakened  the  enemy,  and  succeeded  in  irritating  Ger- 
man tribes  against  each  other,  he,  nevertheless,  did  not  survive  the 
end  of  the  war,  but  died  from  his  exertions  during  the  campaign  at 
Windobona,  the  present  Vienna,  in  the  year  180. 

It  now  fell  upon  his  son,  Commodus,  to  lead  the  army  against  the 
enemy,  and  he  made  a  speech  to  the  soldiers,  even  over  the  body  of 
his  father,  of  what  great  things  he  purposed  doing,  and  that  the  ocean 
alone  should  set  limits  to  his  conquests ;  but  his  heart  longed  for  the 
pleasures  of  Italy  and  for  the  sensualities  of  his  metropolis.  This  was 
well  known  to  his  flatterers  and  courtiers,  and  as  they  themselves  were 
weary  of  the  fatigues  of  the  camp,  they  thus  addressed  him:  uHow 
much  longer  will  you  exchange  Rome  for  the  rude  banks  of  the  Da- 
nube, where  nothing  is  to  be  met  with  but  cold,  rain,  and  eternal 
winter,  where  not  a  fruit-bearing  tree  is  to  be  seen  and  nothing  to  be 
met  with  to  exhilarate  life  ?  When  will  you  cease  to  drink  the  frozen 
water  of  the  Danube  whilst  others  indulge  in  the  warm  wells  and  baths 
of  Italy  ?"  To  such  speeches  Commoduslistened  eagerly  and  said,  "  It 
is  true  what  you  say,  and  if  I  preserve  my  life,  I  can  assuredly  more 
effectually  weaken  the  enemy  than  if  I  expose  it  to  the  dangers  of  war.' 
Some  of  the  tribes  were  so  reduced  by  his  father  that  they  willingly 
concluded  a  peace  with  him,  but  from  others  he  purchased  it  in  a  dis- 
graceful manner  by  means  of  large  presents,  and  then  he  hastened  back 
to  Rome.  So  valiantly,  however,  had  these  tribes  fought  that,  upon 
peace  being  concluded,  the  Quadi  alone  gave  back  50,000,  and  the 


Jazygi  100,000  Roman  prisoners;  and  all  that  the  Romans  had 
gained  by  the  effusion  of  so  much  blood  was,  that  things  now 
remained  for  a  short  period  tranquil  upon  these  frontiers  of  their 

The  proximity  of  the  Romans  on  the  Rhine,  the  Danube,  and 
the  Neckar,  had  by  degrees  effected  alterations  in  the  manners  of 
the  Germans.  They  had  become  acquainted  with  many  new  things, 
both  good  and  bad.  By  means  of  the  former  they  became 
acquainted  with  money,  and  many  luxuries.  The  Romans  had 
planted  the  vine  on  the  Rhine,  and  constructed  roads,  cities,  manu- 
factories, theatres,  fortresses,  temples,  and  altars;  Roman  merchants 
brought  their  wares  to  Germany,  and  fetched  thence  ambers,  fea- 
thers,* furs,  slaves,  and  the  very  hair  of  the  Germans,  for  it  was  now 
the  fashion  to  wear  light  flaxen  wigs,  instead  of  natural  hair.  Of 
the  cities  which  the  Romans  built  there  are  many  yet  remaining,  as 
Salzburg,  Ratisbonne,  Augsburg,  Basle,  Strasburg,  Baden,  Spires, 
Worms,  Mentz,  Treves,  Cologne,  Bonn,  &c.  But  in  the  interior 
of  Germany,  neither  the  Romans  nor  their  habits  and  manners 
had  found  friends,  nor  were  cities  built  there  according  to  the 
Roman  style. 

The  most  important  alteration  that  took  place  among  the  Ger- 
mans at  this  period,  was  their  concentration  into  several  extensive 
confederations  of  the  tribes.  The  more  ancient  example  of  the 
Suevi,  the  later  combination  of  the  Marcomanni  and  Cherusci,  and 
perhaps  various  successful  results  in  other  German  districts,  chiefly, 
however,  the  character  presented  by  the  great  Roman  empire,  which, 
notwithstanding  its  great  corruption,  was  yet  strong  by  its  union:  all 
this,  as  well'as  the  predominant  power  of  individual  tribes,  and  perhaps 
many  other  unknown  causes,  produced  four  great  confederations  of 
the  tribes,  which  probably  arose  from  small  beginnings,  and  had  ex- 
sisted  perhaps  for  some  time,  but  had  only  become  known  and  formi- 
dable to  the  Romans  in  the  third  century  after  Christ.  Their  origin 
will  probably  always  remain  obscure  to  us.  The  Roman  writers 
here  leave  us  entirely,  or  are  so  scanty  and  uncertain  in  their  indi- 
cations, that  we  cannot  build  upon  them;  and  the  historians  who 
afterwards  arose  among  the  German  tribes  themselves,  were  so 
ignorant  of  their  earlier  history,  that  they  were  only  able  to  pro- 
duce old  traditions,  and  often  placed  them  in  the  most  wonderful 
fashion  in  connexion  with  the  narratives  of  the  ancient  writers ;  and 
thus  they  connected  the  origin  of  the  German  tribes  with  the  Trojan 
war,  the  expeditions  of  Alexander  the  Great,  and  other  specially 
celebrated  events  of  the  ancient  world.  The  confederations  of  the 
tribes  as  they  occur  in  history,  and  as  they  are  actually  treated 
therein,  are  as  follow : 

1.  The  Alamanni,  afterwards  called  the  Alemanni,  and   Alle- 

*  The  Romans  celebrated  the  white  German  goose,  which  they  even  called  by  its 
German  name,  gans.— -Plin.  Nat.  H.,  x.  27. 


manni,  between  the  Danube  and  the  Maine  ;  and  subsequently, 
after  they  had  won  back  the  Roman  tithe-land,  also  upon  the  Upper 
Rhine  and  Neckar.  They  spread  themselves  later  northwards  as 
far  as  the  Lahn.  They  were  a  confederation  of  Suevic  tribes,  whose 
formation  perhaps  emanated  from  the  Hermunduri,  and,  according 
to  the  opinion,  erroneously  formed,  of  some  ancients,  derived  their 
name  from  their  being  composed  of  all  kinds  of  men,  or  manni. 
But  it  is  perhaps  more  correct  to  consider  the  name  Allemanni  as  a 
warlike,  confederative  name,  equally  as  the  Marcomanni  signifies  the 
War-manni  on  the  frontiers,  Germani,  the  army  or  Ger-manni  in 
general;  the  Allemanni  may  therefore  mean  the  Manni,  who  formed 
the  defence  for  the  whole.  They  were  warlike,  wild,  and  valiant, 
and  gave  the  Romans  no  little  uneasiness.  Dio  Cassius  first  men- 
tions them  in  the  history  of  the  Emperor  Caracalla;  accordingly, 
at  the  beginning  of  the  third  century  from  this  period — particularly 
after  they  had  penetrated  the  limes,  and  towards  the  end  of  the 
third  century,  after  the  death  of  the  Emperor  Probus,  when  they 
had  conquered  the  tithe-land — they  fell  upon  the  effeminate  Gauls 
(who  henceforward,  from  terror,  called  all  Germans  Allemands),  at 
another  time  made  incursions  across  the  Danube,  and  even  across 
the  Alps  into  Italy,  and  each  time  returned  home  with  rich  spoil. 
Northwards  from  these  dwelt : 

2.  The  Franks,  on  the  lower  Rhine,  as  far  as  the  Netherlands 
and  the  North  Sea;  likewise  a  confederation  collected  from  dif- 
ferent tribes  of  the  north-west  of  Germany:  the  Sigambri,  on  the 
Issel,  which  appears  to  have  been  the  chief  tribe  (the  subsequent 
salic  franks),  the  Chamavi,  Amsibari,  Tenchteri,  Usipeti,  Brukteri, 
Chatti,  Cherusci,  Tubanti,  and  others.  The  Friesi  and  Chauci 
also  joined  them  afterwards.  The  name  of  Frank  is  variously 
derived  by  ancient  and  modern  learned  men.  The  broadest  deriva- 
tion is  that  they  wished  to  be  frank  and  free  people,  and  thence 
called  their  confederation.  The  name  of  Franks  is  much  more  pro- 
bably supposed  to  be  derived  from  their  peculiar  weapon,  a  javelin 
armed  with  a  barbed  hook,  which  writers  call  Franziska  (perhaps 
the  ancient/ra7>zea  of  the  Germans).  History  mentions  the  Franks 
to  us  for  the  first  time  distinctly  about  the  middle  of  the  third  cen- 
tury, as  a  union  of  north  German  tribes.  Flavius  Vopiscus  first 
names  them  in  the  life  of  the  Emperor  Aurelian,  about  242 ;  after 
which  the  Emperor  Julian  and  other  later  writers.  They  were  also 
very  strong  and  bold.  Their  high  opinion  of  themselves  is  ex- 
pressed in  the  introduction  to  the  Salic  law,  where  it  states:  "  The 
high-famed  nation  of  the  Franks,  who  have  God  for  their  judge, 
are  brave  in  war,  profound  in  council,  firm  in  union,  noble,  manly  in 
form,  bold,  prompt,  firm;  such  is  the  nation,  which,  small  in  num- 
ber, by  strength  and  courage,  burst  the  yoke  of  the  Romans." 
They  traversed  many  Roman  countries,  particularly  Gaul,  from  one 
end  to  the  other,  whenever  they  were  excited  by  the  lust  of  prey 


and  booty.  They  even  crossed  the  Pyrenees  into  Spain,  and  con- 
quered the  city  Tarragona.  The  Romans  in  the  third  century  had 
so  frail  a  tenure  of  these  countries,  that  the  Franks  and  other  Ger- 
man warlike  hordes,  among  whom  are  named  the  Burgundians  and 
Vandals,  had  possession  of  seventy  considerable  cities  in  Gaul. 
After  a  long  period  a  hero  again  appeared  among  the  Roman 
rulers,  in  the  Emperor  Probus  (276 — 282);  he  drove  the  Germans 
beyond  the  Rhine,  fell  upon  their  country,  and  conquered  so  many 
of  them,  that  in  order  to  reduce  them,  he  was  enabled  to  transplant 
many  thousands  into  other  portions  of  his  empire.  He  conveyed  a 
body  of  the  Franks,  who  had  their  seat  upon  the  North  Sea,  more 
than  a  thousand  miles  into  a  distant  country,  to  the  coasts  of  the 
Black  Sea.  He  expected  the  Germans  would  here  forget  their  bleak 
fatherland,  for  here  they  dwelt  in  a  most  beautiful  and  warm  cli- 
mate, and  in  a  rich  and  delightful  country.  They,  however,  could 
not  banish  from  their  recollection  the  cold  shores  of  the  stormy  North 
Sea,  but  only  planned  how  they  could  return.  They  attacked  and 
took  possession  of  several  ships,  and  in  them  passed,  amidst  a  thou- 
sand dangers  and  difficulties,  through  unknown  waters,  across  the 
seas  of  Greece  and  Africa,  and  by  the  coasts  of  Italy,  Spain,  and 
France,  towards  their  home.  They  were  often  obliged  to  land,  and 
fight  with  the  natives  for  provisions;  they  even  conquered  the  large 
city  of  Syracuse  in  Sicily,  which  the  Athenians  in  ancient  times 
had  vainly  invested  for  three  years ;  and  they  at  last  came  through 
the  great  Ocean  into  the  North  Sea,  and  back  to  their  German 
coasts.  This  took  place  in  the  year  280.* 

3.  The  Saxon  confederation  is  named,  together  with  the  Franks,  as 
early  as  the  year  288,  by  Eutropius,  and  was  formed  of  the  remaining 
Lower  German  tribes  who  had  not  joined  the  Franks,  or  had  again 
separated  themselves  from  them.  Amm.  Marcellinus  next  mentions 
the  Saxons  as  the  neighbours  of  the  Franks  about  the  middle  of 
the  fourth  century,  and  after  him  they  are  named  by  many  others. 
The  greatest  territorial  extension  which  they  attained  in  the  course 
of  the  following  centuries  up  to  the  time  of  Charlemagne,  was  from 
the  Danes,  from  whom  they  were  separated  by  the  Eider,  over 
Lower  Saxony  and  the  greatest  portion  of  Westphalia,  and  in  addi- 
tion they  occupied  the  banks  of  the  Elbe,  Weser,  Aller,  Seine,  Ems, 
Lippe,  and  Ruhr.  The  history  of  this  command  of  territory  by 
the  Saxons  is  entirely  unknown  to  us.  If  we  fix  upon  the  name 
of  the  small  tribe  of  the  Saxons  which  is  mentioned  in  the  second 
century  by  Ptolemy  alone,  and  who  places  them  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Elbe,  and  towards  Holstein,  it  then  becomes  probable,  that 
these,  together  with  the  Chauci,  Brukteri,  Cherusci,  and  Friesi, 
(who  again  detached  themselves  from  the  Franconian  league),  the 
Angrivari,  the  Fosi,  and. other  tribes,  formed  an  alliance  against 
the  powerful  confederation  of  the  Franks,  and  drove  these  who 

»  Zosimus,  i.,  71;  Eumenius  in  Panegyr.,  iv.,  18. 


previously  occupied  the  greater  portion  of  Westphalia,  farther  to- 
wards the  Rhine. 

The  Saxons  appear  subsequently  divided  into  three  circles :  that  of 
the  Eastphalians,  beyond  the  Weser,  in  the  country  of  Hanover  and 
Brunswick;  the  Westphalians  on  the  Ems,  and  the  Lippe  in  Miin- 
ster,  Osnabriick,  &c.,  as  far  as  the  Rhine,  and  the  Engerians,  in  the 
centre  between  both,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Weser,  continuing  per- 
haps the  name  of  the  Angrivari  in  an  abridged  form. 

The  Saxons  likewise  well  understood  navigation,  although  in  the 
earlier  times  they  possessed  but  poor  ships,  formed  as  they  were 
principally  of  twisted  branches  and  boughs  of  trees  lashed  together, 
and  then  covered  over  with  hides  of  oxen  and  bullocks — they 
were  called  by  the  name  of  kiel*  They  committed  many  piracies 
and  became  first  known  to  the  Romans  at  the  end  of  the  third 
century,  as  pirates  on  the  Gallic  coasts.  We  shall  find,  subsequently, 
that  they  crossed  over  to  England,  and  there  founded  new  king- 
doms. They  placed  themselves  only  during  the  wars  under  the 
leadership  of  dukes,  who  afterwards  immediately  withdrew  into 
the  ranks  of  the  nobility.  In  times  of  peace  they  legislated  by 
representation,  and  sent  from  each  of  the  three  circles  an  equal 
number  of  chosen  deputies  to  their  assembly,  whose  decisions  were 
valid  for  all.  Thus  the  idea  of  a  representative  parliament,  of 
which  the  ancient  nations  knew  nothing,  originated  with  the 

But  still  more  powerful  than  all  these  tribes  were : 

4.  The  Goths.  Their  name  we  have  already  found  on  the 
banks  of  the  Vistula.  Subsequently,  however,  it  is  mentioned  from 
the  shores  of  the  Black  Sea  as  far  as  the  East  Sea.  They  were  evi- 
dently a  union  of  many  mixed  nations,  as  it  appears,  belonging 
hereditarily  to  the  Gothic  race,  and  perhaps  founded  already  at 
the  period  of  the  great  war  of  the  Eastern  tribes  against  Mark 
Aurelius.  And  whilst  on  the  one  hand  the  Alemanni,  Franks, 
and  Saxons,  attacked  the  country  of  the  Romans,  which  lay  to- 
wards the  west,  the  Goths,  on  the  other,  turned  their  attacks  to- 
wards the  south  and  the  cast,  the  Black  Sea  and  the  Danube. 
Already,  in  the  third  century,  the  Romans  had  to  maintain  severe 
contests  with  them.  The  Gothic  king,  Eniva,  crossing  the  Danube, 
invaded  Mresia  and  Thracia,  conquered  several  cities,  laid  the  country 
waste,  and  when  the  Emperor  Decius  advanced  to  meet  him,  he 
gained  so  great  a  victory  over  him  at  Abrutum,  that  the  emperor 
himself  and  his  son  remained  slain  upon  the  field.  From  this  battle, 
in  the  year  251,  the  superiority  of  the  Germans,  and  the  weakness 
of  the  Romans,  became  more  and  more  evident,  although  several 
powerful  emperors  gained  victories  over  them.  Even  the  successor 
of  Decius,  the  Emperor  Gallus,  was  obliged  to  purchase  peace  with 
the  Goths,  by  leaving  them  all  the  booty,  as  well  as  all  the  distin- 

*  Kiel,  a  Danish  port,  still  bears  this  sign  in  its  city  arms. 


guished  prisoners,  and  promising  them  besides  a  yearly  tribute.  At  a 
later  period  they  made,  in  conj  unction  with  the  Heruliaiis,  several  bold 
and  dangerous  piratic  expeditions,  from  the  northern  coasts  of  the 
Black  Sea,  as  well  as  beyond  it,  to  those  of  the  Mediterranean. 
Athens,  with  many  monuments  of  its  flourishing  period,  the  vicinity 
of  Troy,  and  the  splendid  temple  of  Diana  at  Ephcsus,  were  overrun 
by  them,  and  the  latter  wholly  destroyed. 

The  great  prince  of  the  Goths,  who,  of  all  others,  spread  their  do- 
minion the  most  extensively,  was  Armanarich,  or  Hermanrich, 
who  lived  in  the  fourth  century.  He  ruled  over  them  for  more 
than  two  generations,  and  attained  himself  the  age  of  a  hundred  and 
ten  years.  His  empire  extended  from  the  Black  Sea  and  the  Da- 
nube over  Moldavia,  Wallachia,  Hungary,  Poland,  and  Prussia,  to 
the  Baltic. 

The  Goths  early  divided  themselves  into  two  head  divisions,  which 
afterwards,  after  many  changes,  appear  in  the  history  under  the  titles 
of  the  Eastern  Goths  and  the  Western  Goths.  Kings  of  the  race  of 
the  Amalians  (probably  the  pure,  without  stain)  ruled  over  the 
Eastern  Goths ;  and  the  Western  Goths  were  governed  by  the  royal 
race  of  the  Baltians  (from  bait,  bold).  Among  the  Eastern  Goths, 
the  Greuthungi,  and  among  the  Western  Goths,  the  Thervingi,  were 
the  chief  tribes. 

The  Goths  belonged  to  the  noblest  and  most  civilized  German 
tribes,  and  had  adopted  Christianity  at  a  very  early  period.  Their 
bishop,  Ulphilas  or  YVulfila  (Wolflein),  as  early  as  the  fourth  cen- 
tury, undertook  the  truly  wonderful  task  of  translating  the  Bible* 
into  their  language,  until  then  but  little  cultivated;  and  thus  was 
speedily  diffused  among  them,  together  with  the  belief  in  the 
Saviour  of  the  world,  both  gentler  feelings  and  manners. 

Besides  these  confederations,  there  were  other  isolated  tribes  in 
Germany,  particularly  two,  who  will  speedily  appear  among  the 
rest,  as  distinguished  for  power  and  dignity,  viz. :  the  Burgundi, 
earlier  on  the  Vistula,  and  the  Longobardi,  on  the  Elbe. 

At  the  period  that  the  German  tribes  flourished  in  their  prime, 
and  collected  and  combined  their  power  in  large  unions,  the  Roman 
empire,  in  its  declining  strength,  became  daily  more  and  more  re- 
duced within  itself,  and  its  magnitude  was  a  burden  to  it.  The  ma- 
jority of  the  Roman  emperors,  from  the  year  180  downwards,  became 
in  a  greater  degree  enervated,  and  with  their  effeminacy,  grew  likewise 
either  more  and  more  malignant  and  suspicious,  or  they  were  avowed 
tyrants,  and  shed  the  blood  of  the  best  men  without  reserve  or  shame. 
But  even  if  a  good  ruler  happened  to  appear,  and  sought  to  maintain 

*  This  translation  is  the  most  ancient,  and  for  us,  an  invaluable  monument  of  our 
language.  For  a  long  period,  there  only  existed  two  MS.  copies  thereof:  the  so-called 
Codex  Argentina  (of  the  silver  letters),  in  Upsala,  and  the  Codex  Carolinus,  in  Wolfen- 
biittel.  These,  however,  contain  only  the  four  Evangelists  and  a  portion  of  the  Ro- 
man Epistles;  whilst  Ulphilas  translated  the  whole  Bible,  with  the  exception  of 
the  books  of  Samuel  and  the  Kings.  In  recent  times,  however,  considerable  portions 
of  the  remaining  translation  have  been  discovered  and  made  known  in  Milan. 


right  and  order,  he  was  speedily  murdered  by  the  wild  horde  of 
soldiers;  for  they  it  was  who,  in  fact,  ruled  the  empire.  Accord- 
ing to  their  pleasure,  they  elevated  or  deposed  the  emperors;  and 
to  such  shameless  extent  did  they  carry  their  sway,  that  they  pub- 
licly offered  the  imperial  crown  for  sale,  and  placed  it  upon  the  head 
of  him  who  gave  them  the  most  money.  In  the  course  of  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  years,  from  180-300,  in  which  period — in  the 
ordinary  course  of  things — six  rulers  would  have  succeeded  each 
other,  no  less  than  six-and-thirty  emperors  governed  the  Roman 
empire,  of  whom  twenty-seven  were  murdered,  three  fell  in  war, 
and  only  six  died  a  natural  death. 

It  did  not,  however,  suffice  that  an  emperor  was  destroyed  every 
moment,  but  the  murderers  slew  all  his  adherents  with  him ;  so  that 
blood  was  shed  in  streams,  and  the  majority,  in  their  selfishness,  took 
especial  care  not  to  adhere  too  faithfully  to  their  princes  to  the  last. 
In  such  times,  the  Romans  necessarily  became  a  corrupted,  reckless, 
and  contemptible  people,  who  only  cared  to  pass  their  days  in  idleness, 
luxury,  and  sensuality.  For  when  man  beholds  before  him  no  secu- 
rity for  the  future,  and  knows  not  if  the  fruits  of  his  industry  will 
descend  to  his  children,  he  then  only  considers  how  he  himself  shall 
enjoy  the  present  moment;  and  thus,  in  his  sensual  voracity  and 
brutality,  he  places  himself  upon  a  level  with  the  irrational  beasts, 
no  longer  thinking  of  a  future  judgment  and  a  retribution. 

It  is  true  that  the  doctrine  of  Jesus  had  calmly  diffused  itself  like- 
wise among  the  Romans,  and  had  certainly  saved  many  from  the 
general  ruin.  The  Emperor  Constantine  himself  even,  who  removed 
the  seat  of  empire  from  Rome  to  Constantinople,  made  it,  in  the 
year  311,  the  established  religion  of  his  empire;  and,  indeed,  from 
that  time,  Roman  affairs  took  for  a  period  a  more  favourable  turn, 
but  the  improvement  was  not  fundamental.  The  Romans  during 
the  dominion  of  vice  had  lost  the  higher  moral  power  of  the  soul, 
in  which  alone  the  divine  word  can  take  deep  root;  the  former  sin- 
fulness  became  intermixed  with  the  modern  doctrines,  and  thus,  as 
pure  spring  water  when  flowing  into  a  morass,  becomes  as  bad  as  the 
stagnant  pool  itself,  so  did  the  admixture  of  the  ancient  wickedness 
with  the  new  light  of  Christian  virtue  destroy  completely  all  bene- 
ficial results.  ' 

In  this  condition  of  the  world  it  is  easy  to  understand,  that  the  at- 
tacks of  the  German  nations  upon  the  Roman  empire  must,  neces- 
sarily, have  become  daily  more  successful,  and  it  also  explains  how 
they  were  urged  by  an  irresistible  natural  impulse  to  overpower  such 
miserable  neighbours,  by  whom  they  themselves  had  been  first  at- 
tacked, and  who,  notwithstanding  their  enervation  and  corruption, 
considered  themselves  a  nobler  race  than  the  unpolished  Germans, 
whom  they  called  barbarians.  And  thus  in  nature  also  it  may  be 
observed  as  a  rule,  that  where  there  is  a  vacuum,  the  active,  agitated 
powers  of  air  and  water  forthwith  strive  to  break  in. 

THE  HUNNS.  79 



The  Hunns — Commencement  of  the  Great  Migration,  375 — Irruption  of  the  Western 
Goths,  Vandals,  Suevi,  Burgundians,  and  other  tribes,  into  the  Western  Roman 
Empire — Alaric — Attila,  God's  Scourge,  451 — The  Fall  of  the  Roman  Empire  in 
the  West,  476. 

ABOUT  the  year  375,  when  the  Emperor  Valens  reigned  in  Con- 
stantinople, and  the  western  empire  was  tinder  the  dominion  of  his 
nephew,  the  youthful  Gratian,  a  new  tribe,  almost  unknown  and 
exceedingly  savage,  broke  forth  from  Asia.  They  were  not  of  Ger- 
man but  of  Mongolian  origin,  and  were  called  Hunns.  Terror  and 
dread  preceded  them,  and  those  who  had  seen  them  described  them 
in  the  folio  wing  terms* :  "  The  tribe  called  Hunns  surpass  every  degree 
of  savageness.  They  have  firm-set  limbs  and  thick  necks,  and  their 
whole  figure  is  so  mis-shapen  and  broad,  that  they  might  be  consi- 
dered as  two-legged  monsters,  or  as  posts  that  have  been  roughly  hewn 
to  support  the  balustrades  of  bridges.  And  as,  immediately  after 
their  birth,  deep  incisions  are  made  in  the  cheeks  of  their  children, 
so  that  the  growth  of  hair  may  be  hindered  by  cicatrising  the 
wounds,  they  remain  beardless  and  most  hateful  to  behold,  even 
to  the  most  advanced  period  of  life.  In  addition  to  their  ill- 
favoured  and  repulsive  shapes  they  are  so  savage  that  they  neither 
need  fire,  nor  cook  their  victuals;  but  the  roots  of  wild  plants  and 
the  half  raw  flesh  of  the  first  good  animal  they  meet  with,  and  which 
they  place  beneath  them  upon  the  backs  of  their  horses  and  thus  ride 
it  somewhat  tender,  is  their  whole  sustenance.  They  enter  houses 
only  when  they  are  forced  by  the  most  extreme  necessity;  they 
avoid  them  as  the  separated  graves  of  life,  but  wandering  through 
mountains  and  valleys,  they  learn  to  endure,  from  their  infancy, 
frost,  hunger,  and  thirst.  They  clothe  themselves  with  a  linen  gar- 
ment or  in  furs,  consisting  of  the  skins  of  mice  sewn  together ;  they 
cover  their  heads  with  overhanging  caps,  and  their  legs  with  the 
skins  of  goats.  Their  rough  and  clumsy  boots  prevent  them  from 
walking  freely,  and,  therefore,  they  cannot  fight  on  foot;  but  are 
almost  grown,  as  it  were,  to  their  horses,  which  are  durable,  but,  in 
keeping  with  their  masters,  as  characteristically  ugly.  All  their 
business  is  transacted  upon  horseback,  and  thus  this  people  buy 
and  sell,  eat  and  drink;  and,  leaning  upon  the  neck  of  his  swift 
animal,  the  rider  sinks  into  a  deep  sleep,  even  to  the  very  phantasma 
of  dreams ;  and  if  a  council  is  to  be  held  upon  serious  matters,  it  is 
conducted  in  this  same  manner. 

"They  commence  battle  with  a  terrific  howl;  with  the  rapidity 
of  lightning  they  advance  and  purposely  disperse  themselves  in  the 

*  Amm.  Marcell.,  xxi.,  2;  Dordanis,  24. 


same  moment;  return  rapidly  again,  hover  about  in  irregular  array, 
destroying  heedlessly  whatever  they  meet  with  here  and  there ;  and 
from  their  extraordinary  speed,  almost  before  they  are  observed,  they 
are  already  engaged  in  storming  the  wall,  or  plundering  the  camp  of 
the  enemy.  At  a  distance  they  fight  with  javelins,  whose  points  are 
furnished  with  polished  bones,  prepared  with  extraordinary  skill;  but 
in  close  combat  with  the  sabre,  whilst  the  enemy  parries  the  thrust, 
they  cast  a  noose  over  him  and  carry  him  off. 

"  Agriculture  is  not  practised  among  them,  and  none  touch  the 
plough,  for  all  roam  about  without  a  dwelling,  without  a  home, 
without  laws  and  fixed  customs,  always  wanderers ;  the  women 
dwell  in  waggons,  where  they  weave  their  coarse  garments  and 
bring  up  their  children.  If  the  question  be  put  to  them,  whence 
they  come,  none  can  return  an  answer;  for  they  are  begot  at  one 
place,  bom  at  another,  and  brought  up  again  elsewhere.  Adherence 
to  contracts  they  know  not,  and  like  insensible  animals,  they  scarcely 
know  aught  of  justice  or  injustice,  but  they  precipitate  themselves 
with  all  the  impetuosity  of  their  desires  upon  an  object,  and  they 
waver  at  every  newly  raised  hope  or  prospect;  nay,  they  are  so 
changeable  and  irritable,  that  even  sometimes  in  the  same  day  with- 
out the  least  offence,  they  fall  out  with  their  allies,  and  again  without 
any  persuasion,  they  return  and  become  friends  with  them  again." 

This  lightly- equipped  and  uncontrollable  race,  burning  with  a 
fearful  and  determined  desire  of  booty  from  strangers,  broke  forth 
from  the  sea  of  Asov,  whither  they  were  driven  much  earlier  from 
their  ancient  pastures  on  the  frontiers  of  China,  and  fell  first  upon 
the  Alani,  thought  by  some  to  be  an  Asiatic  tribe,  by  others  again 
considered  to  be  a  branch  of  the  Goths  ;  but  it  is  probably  a  collec- 
tive name,  by  which  the  Romans  signify  the  tribes  eastward  of  the 
Goths  on  the  Wolga  and  the  Don,  who  may  possibly  have  been  of 
different  races.  The  Hunns  are  said  to  have  sacrificed  their  first 
European  prisoners  to  the  manes  of  their  ancient  princes.  This  im- 
mense swarm  then  rushed  onwards  upon  the  Goths.  Hermanrich, 
a  brave  old  warrior,  upwards  of  a  hundred  years  of  age,  and  still  suf- 
fering from  a  severe  wound  received  in  battle,  when  he  saw  he 
could  not  resist  the  Hunns,  would  not  survive  his  formerly  acquired 
fame,  and  therefore,  in  despair,  killed  himself.  His  people  were 
obliged  to  subject  themselves  to  the  power  of  these  savages,  and 
the  Thervingians  considering  resistance  useless,  quitted  their  ancient 
seats,  and  sent  messengers  to  the  Emperor  Valens,  at  Constan- 
tinople, with  a  petition:  "  that  if  he  would  give  them  land  and  pas- 
turage beyond  the  Danube,  they  would  be  the  defenders  of  the 
frontiers."  As  mediator  for  the  Thervingians,  it  is  very  probable, 
that  much  was  effected  by  the  Gothic  Bishop  Ulphilas,  who,  in  a 
persecution  made  against  the  Christians  by  the  pagan  Gothic  princes, 
had,  some  time  previously  together  with  several  Gothic  Christians, 
taken  refuge,  and  been  granted  an  asylum  on  Roman  ground,  at 
the  foot  of  the  Hoemus.  This  pious  and  patriotic  prelate  had,  in- 


deed,  during  a  space  of  forty  years,  been  continually  occupied  in 
working  for  the  benefit  of  his  people.  The  emperor  received  them 
kindly.  They  were  not  pursued  by  the  Hunns,  who  now  followed 
pasturage,  hunting,  and  pillage,  for  more  than  fifty  years  in  the 
Steppes  and  forests  of  the  present  southern  Russia,  Poland,  and 
Hungary,  by  which  means  they  came  into  frequent  intercourse  with 
the  Romans,  whom  they  often  served  in  war  ;  and  humanized  by 
this  communication  with  the  latter  and  the  Germans,  much  of  the 
uncouthness  in  their  manners  was  removed. 

The  new  seat  of  the  Western  Goths  in  Magsia  became  very  soon 
too  narrow  for  them ;  and  as  their  herds  did  not  supply  them  with 
sufficient  support,  they  begged  permission  to  barter  for  their  necessary 
wants.  The  Roman  rulers,  however,  Lupicinus  and  Maximus,  took 
such  shameful  advantage  of  their  necessities,  that  for  a  loaf  and 
about  ten  pounds  of  miserable  meat  (frequently  the  flesh  of  dogs), 
they  demanded  a  slave  in  return.  The  majority  of  their  herds  were 
consumed,  their  slaves  gone,  and  famine  induced  many  to  give  up 
even  their  children  for  bread.  While  the  people  suffered  from  these 
grievances,  Fridigern,  the  Gothic  prince,  was  invited  as  a  guest  by 
Lupicinus  to  Marcianopolis.  He  was  a  valiant  youth,  full  of  the 
heroic  courage  of  his  ancestors;  and  on  this  occasion  many  young 
men,  his  brethren  in  arms  and  other  friends,  accompanied  him. 
Whilst  he  was  eating,  the  cries  of  his  followers  outside  rose  suddenly 
upon  his  ear,  for  the  Romans  had  fallen  upon  them  and  were  murdering 
them.  With  his  eyes  sparkling  with  vengeance,  and  his  sword  in 
hand,  he  sprang  up,  and  rushing  out,  saved  his  friends,  and  hastened 
away  with  them.*  The  Goths,  embittered  at  the  treachery  of  the 
Romans,  broke  up,  defeated  Lupicinus,  and  traversed  the  nearest 
provinces  with  fire  and  sword ;  and  from  the  walls  of  Constantinople 
were  seen  the  flames  of  the  villages  and  country-seats  which  they 
had  lighted. 

The  Emperor  Valens  advanced  against  Fridigern  with  an  army; 
the  assistance  which  his  nephew,  Gratian,  was  bringing  to  his  aid  from 
the  west,  he  would  not  wait  for,  in  order  to  retain  alone  the  honour 
of  victory;  and  he  precipitately  ventured  a  battle  near  Adrianople. 
It  was  severely  contested ;  but  the  Gothic  infantry  repulsed,  at  last, 
the  Roman  cavalry, and  then  the  legions.  The  emperor  fled  wounded  ; 
his  horse  falling,  he  had  scarcely  time  to  save  himself  in  a  neigh- 
bouring peasant's  hut.  The  Goths,  far  from  thinking  that  the  Ro- 
man emperor  was  concealed  beneath  a  thatched  roof,  set  fire  to  this 
as  well  as  other  huts ;  and  Valens  found  his  death  in  this  miserable 
manner  in  the  year  378. 

In  this  pitiable  state  the  empire  was  once  more  warded  from  its 
fall  by  the  vigorous  and  prudent  Emperor  Theodosius,  a  Spaniard 
by  birth.  He  contrived  to  weaken  the  Goths  by  divisions,  and 
made  Fridigern's  successor,  Athanaric,  conclude  a  peace.  He  pro- 

*  Amm.  Marcell.,  xxxi.  5,  and  Jordanis,  26. 


mised  the  Gotlis  a  considerable  supply  of  provisions,  and  they,  in 
return,  lent  him  40,000  men  as  auxiliaries. 

This  emperor  died  in  the  year  395,  and  his  two  sons,  Hono- 
rius  and  Arcadius,  divided  the  empire  between  them;  Arcadius 
took  his  seat  at  Constantinople,  Honorius  in  Italy,  and  the  first  divi- 
sion was  called  the  eastern,  and  the  second  the  western  empire. 

The  sons  did  not  resemble  the  father;  too  indolent  to  undertake 
the  government  themselves,  they  allowed  their  chancellors,  the 
Gaul,  Riifinius,  and  the  Vandal,  Stilicho,  to  rule.  Rufinius,  who  was 
chancellor  in  Constantinople,  corrupt  and  selfish,  thought  by  war 
and  daring  adventures  to  exalt  himself  and  increase  his  power; 
accordingly  he  excited  the  Goths  under  Alaric  to  make  an  irruption. 
The  presents  promised  them  by  Theodosius  were  not  delivered,  and 
Alaric  devastated  Thracia  throughout ;  and  Stilicho  advanced  against 
him,  but  was  driven  back  by  the  jealous  Rufinius,  who  was  mur- 
dered by  the  embittered  army.  Upon  this,  Alaric  turned  against 
Greece,  then  quite  defenceless,  which  he  robbed  of  its  last  treasures 
and  glories.  Suddenly,  Stilicho  attacked  and  pressed  hard  upon 
the  Goths;  but  Arcadius  ordered  him  to  retire,  negotiated  with 
Alaric,  and  made  him  general  of  Illyria,  that  is — gave  it  up  to  him 
in  396.  The  Goths  broke  up  from  here  in  the  year  402,  and 
advanced  across  the  Alps.  Stilicho,  nevertheless,  once  more  suc- 
ceeded, by  a  determined  resistance,  in  forcing  his  dangerous  enemy 
to  retire  beyond  the  boundary  line  of  mountains.  And  in  the  same 
manner  he  saved  Italy  in  the  year  405  from  the  attack  of  a  large 
mixed  army  of  German  tribes,  which,  under  Radagaisus,  endea- 
voured to  break  across  the  Alps  from  a  different  side,  and  were 
perhaps  in  alliance  with  Alaric.  The  history  of  these  times  is  very 
confused,  and  it  is  therefore  not  clear  if  that  body  was  destroyed 
near  Foesulae,  as  some  historians  relate,  or  whether  Stilicho  was 
enabled  to  remove  them  by  treaty,  and  direct  them  to  Gaul. 
But  it  appears  that  Stilicho  also  pursued  ambitious  projects;  for  he 
had  combined  with  Alaric  to  make  an  attack  upon  the  eastern 
empire,  but  was  accused  of  treachery  by  his  enemies,  and  by  com- 
mand of  the  Emperor  Honorius,  his  own  son-in-law,  he  was  assas- 
sinated in  the  year  408.  As  soon  as  Alaric  heard  of  the  death  of 
Stilicho,  he  once  more  advanced  against  Italy,  pressed  through  the 
passes  of  the  Alps,  crossed  the  Po,  and  went  direct  to  Rome;  he  left 
the  emperor  in  Ravenna,  for  he  despised  this  weak  prince.  In  Rome 
all  was  terror  and  confusion ;  for  since  600  years  the  Romans  had 
seen  no  enemy  before,  nor  during  800  years  had  they  beheld  an 
enemy  within  their  walls,  thence  the  city  was  called  the  eternal 
city.  They,  nevertheless,  once  more  gave  voice  to  their  ancient 
haughtiness,  and  thus  addressed  Alaric:*  "The  Roman  people  are 
numerous  and  strong,  and  by  their  constant  practice  in  arms  are  so 
bold  and  courageous  that  they  have  no  dread  of  war."  But  Alaric 

*  Zosimus,  v.,  34, 


only  laughed  aloud  at  this,  and  replied:  "  Thickly  standing  grass  is 
much  easier  mowed  than  thin."  The  ambassadors  then  asked  the 
conditions  of  peace.  He  demanded  all  the  gold  and  silver,  together 
with  the  whole  of  the  rich  plate  contained  in  the  city,  and  all  the  slaves 
of  German  origin.  On  which  they  asked,  "  What,  will  you  then  leave 
us?"  "Your  souls!"  said  he.  Thus  insolently  spoke  a  man,  born 
among  a  barbaric  tribe,  upon  the  island  of  Peuce  (at  the  mouth  of 
the  Danube)  to  that  city  which,  for  centuries,  had  ruled  the  habit- 
able earth,  and  through  the  gates  and  streets  of  which  the  proudest 
heroes  had  marched  in  triumph,  crowned  with  victories  gained  over 
foreign  nations,  and  loaded  with  booty  from  Europe,  Asia,  and 
Africa ! 

At  this  moment,  certain  prophets  from  Tuscany,  who  were  in  the 
city,  offered  themselves  to  drive  Alaric  back  from  Rome  by  pro- 
phetic threats,  if,  in  return,  they  might  be  allowed  to  institute  feasts 
and  sacrifices  to  their  ancient  divinities.  Doubtless,  when  he  heard 
of  such  weak  and  futile  proposals  being  made,  the  valorous  Alaric 
treated  the  matter  with  merited  contempt  and  derision. 

When  now  the  Romans  discovered  no  hopes  of  being  rescued, 
they  were  obliged  to  fulfil  the  wishes  of  their  enemy,  and  promise 
him  5000  pounds  of  gold  and  30,000  of  silver,  besides  a  multi- 
plicity of  rare  and  costly  articles.  But  so  much  gold  and  silver  was 
not  to  be  found  in  the  possession  of  the  inhabitants.  They  were, 
therefore,  obliged  to  have  recourse  to  the  ornaments  and  decorations 
of  the  ancient  temples;  and  it  is  said  that,  among  the  statues  of  their 
divinities,  that  of  Valour  was  also  melted  down — it  thus  appearing  as 
if  all  that  still  remained  in  Rome  of  that  noble  quality  in  man  was 
now  annihilated  for  ever. 

The  Emperor  Honorius  refused  to  enter  into  any  negotiation 
whatever  with  Alaric,  who,  therefore,  returned  next  year  to  Rome, 
and  appointed  another  emperor,  of  the  name  of  Attalus,  as  rival  to 
Honorius;  but  as,  after  one  year's  trial,  he  also  proved  himself  to  be 
wholly  worthless,  Alaric  recluced  him  again  to  the  dust  from  which 
he  had  raised  him,  and  the  city  of  Rome,  which  held  out  against 
him,  he  now  took  by  storm.  This  happened  on  the  23d  of  August, 
in  the  year  410.  The  Goths  entered  the  imperial  palace  and  plun- 
dered it,  as  well  as  the  houses  of  the  nobles;  but  they  so  far  mode- 
rated their  ire,  that  they  did  not  burn  the  city.  It  was  a  happy 
thing  for  the  Romans  that  the  Goths  were  Christians ;  for  those  who 
fled  to  the  churches  were  not  molested  or  touched;  nay,  a  singular 
occurrence,  which  is  related  to  us,  displays  very  evidently  the  pious 
feeling  of  these  people.  A  warrior,  who  entered  the  house  of  a  fe- 
male, found  gold  and  silver  vessels  there.  She  told  him  that  they 
belonged  to  "the  holy  apostle  St.  Peter,  and  were  given  to  her 
in  charge  for  the  church ;  he  might,  therefore,  act  as  he  thought 
proper.  The  soldier  communicated  this  to  Alaric,  who  sent  imme- 
diately thither,  and  caused  the  sacred  vessels  to  be  carried  with  so- 
lemnity back  to  the  church.  The  Romans,  animated  by  such  gene- 

G  2 


rous  tolerance,  accompanied  the  train,  chanting  solemn  hymns;  and 
the  Gothic  warriors,  astonished  at  the  unexpected  spectacle,  ceased 
to  plunder,  joined  the  procession  themselves,  and  thus  was  the  fury 
of  war  transformed  into  genial  peace  by  mere  Christian  emotion. 

Alaric  remained  only  a  few  days  in  Rome ;  he  then  advanced  towards 
lower  Italy,  indulging  his  imagination  with  magnificent  plans,  for, 
as  it  appears,  he  purposed  embarking  for  the  beautiful  island  of  Sicily, 
and  thence  to  proceed  to  Africa,  in  order  to  conquer  likewise  this 
granary  of  Italy.  But  death  overtook  him  at  Cosenza,  in  his  34th 
year.  The  entire  Westro-Gothic  nation  bewailed  his  loss,  and  pre- 
pared a  remarkable  and  memorable  grave  for  him.  They  dug  ano- 
ther bed  for  the  river  Busento,  conducting  the  water  through  it, 
and  then  buried  their  king,  fully  armed  and  equipped,  in  the  original 
bed  of  the  river,  accompanied  by  his  war-horse  and  the  trophies  of 
his  victories.  They  then  conducted  the  course  of  the  river  back 
again,  in  order  that  neither  Roman  covetousness  nor  revenge  should 
desecrate  or  disturb  the  great  Alaric,  in  the  grave  where  he  reposed 
from  his  victories.  Upon  his  death,  the  Goths  elected  for  their  king 
the  most  handsome  of  their  young  nobles,  the  youth  Athaulf,  or 
Adolplms,  the  brother-in-law  of  Alaric.  He  advanced  from  Lower 
Italy  to  Rome,  where  he  obliged  the  Emperor  Honorius  to  give 
him  his  own  sister,  Placidia,  as  consort;  he  then  quitted  Italy, 
passed  with  his  nation  into  Gaul  and  Spain,  and  he  and  his  suc- 
cessor, PFallia,  were  the  founders  of  the  extensive  Westro-Gothic 
kingdom,  which  comprised  the  south  of  France  as  far  as  the  Loire, 
and  speedily  embraced  Spain  also,  the  metropolis  of  which  was 
Toulouse,  on  the  river  Garonne.  In  the  year  419,  the  Romans  for- 
mally delivered  Southern  Gaul  up  to  Wallia.  The  commencement 
of  the  fifth  century  was  therefore  in  the  highest  degree  turbulent, 
from  the  violent  movements  of  the  various  nations.  Almost  all 
the  German  tribes  sent  out  hordes  of  troops  upon  excursions  of 
pillage  or  conquest;  or  they  themselves,  pressed  forward  by  the 
superior  attacks  of  other  tiibes,  broke  up  their  abode,  that  they 
might,  arms  in  hand,  seek  elsewhere  for  new  dwellings.  The 
weak  alone,  who  could  or  would  not  quit  their  paternal  dwelling, 
remained  behind,  and  became  mingled  with  and  lost  amidst  the 
immediately  succeeding  race.  Besides  the  Goths,  the  Vandals 
and  Alans  were  pressed  forward  by  the  Hunns,  and  advanced  from 
the  east  gradually  towards  the  west.  In  their  advance,  the  Bur- 
gundians,  who  likewise  had  quitted  their  dwelling-place  on  the 
Vistula  and  had  arrived  as  far  as  the  Upper  Danube,  with  a  portion 
of  the  Suevi,  namely,  the  Quadi,  and  other  tribes  joined  them. 
It  was  probably  a  swarm  of  these  mixed  tribes  which,  under  Ra- 
dagaisus,  or  Radigast,  made  the  attack  upon  Italy  in  the  year  405, 
and  which  by  great  good  fortune  was  warded  off  by  Stilicho. 
This  isolated  horde  disappears,  as  well  as  the  name  of  its  leader, 
without  leaving  a  trace  in  history.  But  in  their  attacks  upon  Gaul 
and  Spain  the  beforementioned  tribes  were  more  fortunate.  Stilicho 


had  opened  to  them  the  road  thither,  by  withdrawing  the  legions  from 
the  Rhine  and  from  Gaul  for  the  defence  of  Italy.  They  now 
desolated  the  country  from  Strasburg  to  Amiens.  Treves  was 
four  times  plundered,  Mentz  and  Worms  destroyed,  the  inhabitants 
of  Strasburg,  Spires,  Rheims,  and  other  cities  driven  forth  as 
slaves.  After  these  swarms  had  at  last  been  driven  back  into  the 
south  of  France  by  the  Romans  and  the  Franks,  they,  in  the 
year  408,  were  called  into  Spain  by  the  rebellious  Roman  governor, 
Gervatius.  Hitherto  this  country  had  been  spared  during  these 
fearful  times,  but  its  turn  came  at  last.  The  Vandals,  Alani,  and 
Suevi,  crossed  the  Pyrenees,  and  speedily  conquered  the  greatest 
part  of  the  country.  A  portion  of  the  Alani  remained  in  Gaul,  and 
are  found  later  on  the  side  of  the  Romans,  in  the  great  battle  with 
Attila ;  after  which  they  disappear.  The  Burgundians  also  remained 
under  their  king,  Gundikar  (Giinther),  and  first  founded  their  king- 
dom in  Alsace,  where  it  speedily  extended  towards  the  Rhone 
and  Soane  into  Switzerland,  and  from  thence  it  spread  to  Savoy. 
In  northern  Gaul,  however,  the  Franks  appear  about  this  time  to 
have  made  themselves  masters,  so  that  all  that  lies  towards  the 
north,  from  Boulogne  on  one  side,  to  Cologne  on  the  other,  was 
subject  to  their  sway.  Before  the  middle  of  that  century  Treves 
also,  which  they  had  four  times  conquered,  remained  in  their  power. 

The  Vandals,  who  with  the  Alani  had  taken  their  seat  in  the 
south  of  Spain,  passed  thence  in  the  year  420,  under  their  king, 
Geiserich  or  Genserich,  upon  the  invitation  of  the  discontented 
Roman  governor,  Bonifacius,  over  into  Africa,  and  conquering  there 
the  whole  of  the  northern  coast,  founded  for  a  century  a  flourish- 
ing kingdom,  the  chief  city  of  which  was  Carthage.  What  a  mi- 
gration, from  the  very  shores  of  the  Baltic,  where  these  tribes  first 
appear  in  history,  even  to  the  borders  of  the  African  deserts !  Gei- 
serich, one  of  the  great  men  of  his  age,  but  of  a  savage  disposition, 
ruled  for  50  years,  from  428 — 477.  After  him  the  kingdom  of  the 
Vandals  fell,  in  the  luxuriant  climate  of  the  country,  produced  by 
internal  disturbances,  and  by  the  enervation  of  this  otherwise  powerful 
tribe.  The  emperor  of  Constantinople,  Justinian,  took  advantage  of 
their  reduced  state?  and  in  the  year  553  sent  his  general,  Belisarius, 
to  Africa  with  an  army,  who  overcame  them  in  eight  months.  Their 
last  king,  Gelimer,  was  led  by  him  in  chains  on  his  triumphant  entry 
into  Constantinople. 

The  Suevi  remained  in  Spain,  but  became,  by  degrees,  more  and 
more  pressed  upon  by  the  Westro-Goths  under  Wallia  and  his  succes- 
sors, being  soon  limited  to  the  north-western  portion  of  Spain  and 
Portugal;  and  at  last,  in  the  year  585,  they  were  entirely  united 
with  the  Westro-Gothic  kingdom. 

In  the  middle  of  the  fifth  century,  449,  the  Angeli,  Saxons  and 
Futi,  passed  over  into  England,  and  there  founded  new  dynasties. 
Under  the  Emperor  Honorius,  and  immediately  after  him,  the  Ro- 
mans had  entirely  quitted  Britain.  The  Britons  had,  however,  be- 


come  so  enervated  under  their  sway,  that  after  the  withdrawal  of  the 
Roman  garrisons,  they  felt  themselves  incompetent  to  protect  their 
freedom.  Their  neighbours  in  the  Scotch  Highlands,  the  warlike 
Picts  and  Scots,  breaking  forth  from  their  mountains  with  undi- 
mimshed  power,  pressed  hard  upon  them ;  and  they  found  no  other 
alternative  but  to  call  strangers  once  more  to  their  defence.  Their 
choice  fell  upon  the  tribes  of  Saxon  origin  who  inhabited  the  coasts 
of  the  North  Sea,  and  whose  valour  they  had  often  had  occasion  to 
know  when  these  fell  in  with  their  piratic  squadrons  on  the  coasts  of 
Britain.  Two  Saxon  brothers,  Hengist  and  Horst,  or  Horsa,  heroes 
of  a  noble  race,  who  derived  their  origin  from  Wodan,  accepted  the 
invitation  of  the  British  king,  Vortigern,  and  with  only  three  ships, 
which  bore  1600  warriors,  they  landed.  Their  valour  alone  supplied 
the  place  of  numbers ;  they  beat  the  Picts  near  Stamford,  and  speedily 
afterwards  large  troops  of  their  countrymen  followed  them  over  from 
the  continent.  The  Britons  then  would  willingly  have  been  freed 
of  their  new  guests;  they,  however,  preferred  remaining,  subjected 
the  whole  of  England  as  far  as  Wales,  and  founded  the  well-known 
Anglo-Saxon  kingdoms  or  heptarchy,  of  which  Kent,  established  by 
Hengist,  formed  the  first. 

In  a  large  village,  seated  in  a  plain  between  the  Danube  and  the 
Theiss,  in  Hungary,  and  surrounded  by  pallisades,  which  had  origi- 
nated in  a  camp,  there  stood,  in  the  midst  of  a  spacious  court,  an 
extensive  wooden  mansion,  adorned  with  many  passages  and  halls, 
and  which  formed  the  dwelling  of  Attila  or  Etzel,  king  of  the  Hunns. 
He  had  united  his  people — until  then  dispersed  under  many  leaders — 
under  his  own  dominion ;  and  in  effecting  this  had  not  hesitated 
even  to  slay  his  own  brother,  Bleda.  All  the  tribes  of  the  Hunns 
and  their  subjected  nations,  distributed  from  the  Wolga  to  Hungary, 
reverenced  his  command.  He  was  lord  of  the  Gepidi,  Longobardi, 
Avari,  Ostrogoths,  and  many  nations  in  the  south  of  Germany;  they, 
however,  retained  their  languages,  their  customs,  and  their  laws, 
and  were  ruled  by  their  own  princes ;  so  that  they  were  to  be  con- 
sidered more  as  allies  than  subjects;  and  besides  the  language  of  the 
Hunns,  that  of  the  Goths,  or  German,  was  spoken  at  the  court  of 

He  himself  was  small  of  stature,  had  a  large  head,  deeply-seated 
eyes,  which  he  proudly  cast  around,  a  broad  chest,  much  animation, 
and  a  manner  and  bearing  which  thoroughly  displayed  the  ruler. 
His  most  favourite  name,  indeed,  was  Godegiesel,  the  scourge  of 
God,  for  the  punishment  of  the  world. 

But  as  it  may  be  assumed  generally  with  regard  to  rulers,  the 
founders  of  mighty  empires,  that  they  have  not  alone  to  thank 
their  conquering  swords  for  their  acquired  power,  so  also  on  his  part 
King  Attila  gave  undoubted  proofs  that  for  governing  he  possessed 
capacities  more  mild  and  intellectual  than  the  mere  rude  courage 
and  skill  of  a  warrior.  For  if  he  was  terrible  towards  his  enemies, 
and  in  his  wrath  severe  and  exterminating,  still,  on.  the  other  hand, 


lie  was  gentle  and  kind  to  those  he  took  under  his  protection.  And 
if  in  war  he  himself  always  led  on  his  people  to  battle,  he  was  never- 
theless, in  times  of  peace,  always  to  be  found  seated  at  their  head  be- 
fore his  palace  gates,  performing  the  office  of  mediator  and  judge  be- 
tween each  and  all  who  came  to  him,  without  distinction. 

He  loved  splendour  around  him,  but  he  himself  lived  in  a  simple 
and  plain  style,  as  if  his  greatness  did  not  require  this  foil.  The  trap- 
pings of  his  horse  were  unadorned  and  but  little  costly;  at  his  ban- 
quets, gold  and  silver  vessels  were  placed  before  his  guests,  whilst  he 
alone  had  those  of  wood;  he  ate  but  little  meat,  despising,  according 
to  the  custom  of  his  nation,  even  bread.  After  each  dish  was  served, 
the  cup  or  wassail-bowl  was  handed  round,  and  his  health  and  pros- 
perity drank ;  whilst  minstrels  sang  heroic  songs  in  praise  of  his  valor- 
ous deeds.  The  court  jester  then  followed  with  his  wit  and  fun,  and 
hilarity  and  merriment  ruled  at  the  board  of  the  royal  host ;  but  he 
alone  never  intermitted  his  strict  seriousness.  He  remained  through- 
out grave  and  thoughtful;  and  it  was  only  when  his  youngest  son, 
Irnack,  entered  the  hall  and  approached  him,  that  his  features  re- 
laxed into  a  smile,  and  whom  he  greeted  with  affection;  for  of  this 
son  it  had  been  prophesied,  that  he  alone  would  be  the  means  of  pre- 
serving the  succession  of  the  race  of  Attila.* 

This  powerful  ruler,  of  whom  it  has  been  said  that,  when  with 
his  mysterious  sword — which  had  been  found  by  a  shepherd  in  the 
steppes  of  Icythia,  and  was  considered  to  be  the  sword  of  the  god 
of  war — he  struck  the  earth,  a  hundred  nations  trembled,  and  even 
Rome  and  Constantinople  shook  to  their  foundations,  arose  with  his 
army  in  the  year  451,  and  turned  his  course  towards  the  west.  He 
advanced  with  700,000  men,  all  under  him  as  chief  ruler,  and  every 
tribe  under  its  particular  prince;  and  although  the  princes  them- 
selves trembled  before  him,  his  whole  army  had  but  one  soul,  and 
his  nod  alone  directed  every  movement.  His  path  was  called  de- 
struction ;  for  what  could  not  fly,  or  was  not  destroyed,  as  he  pro- 
gressed in  his  road,  was  forced  to  follow  in  his  train. 

He  advanced  through  Austria  and  the  Allemannic  country,  across 
the  Rhine,  overcame  the  Burgundian  King  Gundikar  (Giinther), 
even  to  the  destruction  of  his  whole  tribe;  conquered  and  plundered 
the  cities  of  Strasburg,  Spire,  Worms,  Mentz,  Treves,  and  others, 
and  vowed  not  to  stop  until  he  reached  the  ocean  itself.  The  military 
portion  of  the  countries  he  traversed  joined  him  either  spontaneously 
or  by  force,  and  the  gigantic  horde  increased  at  every  step  like  an 

But  the  Romans  and  several  German  nations  had  now  armed 
themselves  against  the  great  danger  which  threatened  the  west ;  for  it 
was  now  to  be  decided  whether  Europe  should  be  German  or  Mon- 

*  This  description  of  Attila  and  his  court  is  handed  down  to  us  by  an  eye-witness, 
the  sophist,  Prisons,  who  attended  in  the  suite  of  an  embassy  from  the  Emperor 
Theodosius  II.  at  the  court  of  Attila:  Byzant.  hist,  script,  i.  Jordanis  also  describes 
Attila  cap.  xxxv. — Both  relate  also  about  the  sword  of  Mars. 


golian,  whether  German  races  were  to  found  new  kingdoms  upon 
the  tottering  ruins  of  the  Roman  Empire  or  the  great  King  of  the 
Hunns.  The  Romans  had  at  this  time  once  again  a  good  leader  of 
the  name  of  JEtius,  who  had  formerly,  when  banished  by  Valen- 
tinian,  sought  refuge  at  the  court  of  Attila;  he  collected  an  army  in 
Gaul,  and  applied  for  aid  to  the  Westro-Gothic  king,  Theodoric  or 
Dieterich,  who  dwelt  in  Toulouse,  and  whose  kingdom  also  was  in 
great  danger.  To  him  Dieterich  replied,  although,  in  earlier  times, 
JStius  had  been  his  enemy:  "  A  just  war  has  never  appeared  to  fall 
too  heavy  upon  any  king  of  the  Westro-Goths ;  and  never  has  any 
such  king  been  known  to  fear  when  it  depended  upon  a  glorious  deed. 
Even  thus  think  the  nobles  of  my  kingdom  also ;  and  the  entire 
nation  of  the  "Westro-Goths  will,  at  the  call,  cheerfully  seize  their 
well-tried  arms,  at  all  times  victorious."  The  Burgundians  had  also 
promised  assistance^  besides  Sangipan,  the  Alanian,  who  ruled  upon 
the  Loire;  a  portion  of  the  Franks  also,  together  with  the  city  of 
Paris  itself,  and  even  a  branch  of  the  Saxons,  which  had  colonised, 
it  is  unknown  at  what  period,  at  the  mouths  of  the  Loire,  or  perhaps 
had  landed  there  direct  from  a  maritime  expedition — all  these  united 
together  for  the  same  purpose. 

In  the  broad  plain  of  France,  through  which  the  Marne  flows, 
and  which  was  called  by  the  ancients  the  Catalaunian  Plain,  where 
the  city  of  Chalons  now  lies,  there  rises  near  Mury,  in  the  vicinity 
of  Troyes,  a  moderately  high  hill,  which  commands  the  district.  It 
was  here  that  the  army  of  the  West  met  the  forces  of  the  Hunns, 
and  a  severe  battle  was  fought.  It  may  be  called  a  battle  of  the 
nations,  for  the  majority  of  the  European  nations  stood  here  opposed 
to  each  other.  The  left  wing  of  the  Roman  army  was  commanded 
by  JEtius,  the  right  by  Theodoric;  between  them  they  posted 
King  Sangipan,  who  was  the  least  to  be  trusted.  The  hordes  of  the 
Hunns,  on  the  opposite  side,  appeared  innumerable;  one  wing  was 
commanded  by  Arderic,  the  King  of  the  Gepidi ;  the  others  by 
Theudimer,  Widemir,  and  Walamir,  the  princes  of  the  Ostro-Goths. 
Attila  was  in  the  centre  of  the  whole.  The  multitude  of  petty  kings 
obeyed  his  least  nod,  and  they  fulfilled  his  commands  in  silence  and 
terror ;  he  alone,  the  chief  of  all  these  kings,  thought  and  acted  for 
all.  When  the  battle  was  about  to  begin,  he  summoned  his  leaders 
before  him,  and  said,  "  It  does  not  become  me  to  say  common-place 
things  to  you,  or  for  you  to  listen  to  such.  Be  men;  attack,  break 
through,  cast  all  down;  despise  the  Roman  array  and  their  shields. 
Fall  upon  the  Western  Goths  and  Alani,  in  whom  lies  the  strength 
of  the  enemy.  If  you  must  die,  you  will  die  even  when  you  flee. 
Direct  your  eyes  to  me,  for  I  shall  go  first;  he  who  does  not  follow 
— shall  be  a  corpse !" 

Both  armies  strove  to  obtain  the  hill;  the  battle  was  very  furious, 
and  there  was  terrible  slaughter.  The  Hunns  soon  broke  through 
the  centre,  where  the  Romans  were  stationed,  and  whom  they  put 
to  flight;  and  soon  afterwards  the  Westro-Goths  gave  way  before  the 


Ostro-Goths.  Whilst  the  Westro-Gothic  king  was  addressing  his 
people  he  fell,  but  gloriously,  for  his  death  inflamed  his  nation  to 
revenge  it;  and  his  son  Thorismund  leading  them  on,  put  the 
enemy  to  flight,  and  thus  decided  the  battle.  Upon  the  approach 
of  night,  Attila  was  obliged  to  retire  within  his  camp  of  waggons. 
As  he  did  not  know  but  the  enemy  might  pursue  him,  he  caused 
innumerable  saddles  and  wooden  shields  to  be  piled  up,  in  case  of 
necessity  to  set  fire  to  them  and  die  in  the  flames;  at  the  same  time, 
to  terrify  the  enemy,  he  commanded  a  noise  to  be  made  all  night 
with  arms,  drums,  trumpets,  and  songs;  but  they  did  not  at- 
tack him.  Amongst  the  piled  heaps  of  the  slain,  they  sought  the 
body  of  the  Westro-Gothic  king,  and  celebrated  his  funeral  by  a 
procession,  amidst  laments  and  warlike  instruments  sounding,  taking 
with  them  the  spoils  of  the  Hunns  in  their  very  presence,  who  how- 
ever did  not  venture  to  interrupt  the  ceremony.  Thorismund  followed 
the  body  of  his  father,  and  wished  to  return  and  renew  the  attack ; 
but  he  was  dissuaded  from  this  by  JEtius,  who  advised  him  to  re- 
turn to  his  kingdom,  that  his  brother  might  not  take  first  possession 
of  the  crown.  He  was  anxious  not  to  destroy  the  power  of  the 
Hunns  completely,  in  order,  perhaps,  to  be  enabled  to  use  it  subse- 
quently against  the  Goths. 

In  the  following  year,  Attila,  who  was  thus  enabled  to  recross  the 
Rhine  unpursued,  made  a  second  incursion  into  Italy,  and  destroyed 
in  a  terrible  manner  Aquileja,  Milan,*  and  other  cities.  Rome 
itself  was  alone  saved  from  a  similar  fate  by  the  supplications  of 
Pope  Leo,  and  the  rich  ransom  he  offered  to  him.  Want  of  sup- 
plies and  disease  amongst  his  army,  forced  him  to  retreat  across  the 
Alps;  he  nevertheless  threatened  to  return  again,  and  had  al- 
ready prepared  another  expedition,  but  amidst  his  preparations  he 
died,  in  the  year  453.  He  was  mourned  over,  and  buried  according 
to  the  customs  of  his  people.  The  Hunns  slashed  their  faces  with 
wounds,  and  shaved  away  their  hair,  and  upon  a  broad  plain,  be- 
neath a  silken  tent,  his  body  lay  in  state.  About  it  coursed  the 
cavalry,  singing  his  deeds  as  they  galloped  around,  and  vaunting 
the  good  fortune,  that  the  great  Attila,  after  immortal  victories,  in 
the  most  glorious  moment  of  his  nation's  history,  and  without  pain, 
had  closed  his  life,  and  had  transferred  himself  to  the  spirits  of  the 
ancient  heroes.  In  the  night  he  was  laid  in  a  golden  coffin;  this 
was  placed  in  a  silver  one,  which  was  inclosed  in  an  iron  one;  the 
caparison  of  his  horses,  his  arms,  and  costly  ornaments  being  buried 
with  him.  After  the  ceremony,  the  workmen  were  immediately 
slaughtered  on  his  grave,  that  none  of  them  might  betray  where  the 
hero  of  the  Hunns  reposed.f 

*  Sucibius  relates  that,  at  this  place,  Attila  met  with  a  picture,  in  which  were  re- 
presented some  Scythian  men  kneeling  before  the  Roman  emperor;  and  that  there, 
opposite  to  it,  he  had  his  own  figure  painted,  seated  upon  the  imperial  throne,  and 
at  his  feet  the  Roman  emperors,  throwing  down  before  him  bags  of  gold. 

f  The  name  of  Attila,  or  Etzel,  was  afterwards  mentioned  in  the  German  legends; 


As  soon  as  the  terror  of  his  name  no  longer  bound  the  nations 
together,  they  separated;  many  refused  obedience;  and  after  his 
first-born  son,  Ellak,  had  fallen  in  a  great  battle  against  Arderic, 
the  king  of  the  Gepidi,  the  whole  power  of  the  Hunns  disappeared, 
and  they  dispersed  farther  towards  the  east.  The  head  of  one  of 
the  sons  of  Attila — such  are  the  changes  in  human  fate — was 
shortly  afterwards  seen  held  up  for  display,  at  one  of  the  race- 
courses in  Constantinople !  Arderic  occupied  the  country  of  the 
Lower  Danube,  and  the  Ostro -Goths  took  possession  of  Hungary, 
towards  Vienna.  The  remaining  portion  of  the  German  tribes  who 
had  been  subject  to  the  power  of  the  Hunns,  no  doubt  likewise  took 
advantage  of  this  moment  of  renewed  independence,  to  return  to 
their  old,  or  to  take  possession  of  new  dwelling-places.  This  period 
may  therefore  be  considered  as  decisive  of  the  form  of  the  imme- 
diate future,  until  the  entire  destruction  of  the  Roman  power  in 
Italy  produced  new  revolutions  for  a  portion  of  Europe. 

The  Western  Roman  Empire  now  consisting  of  Italy  alone,  de- 
clined more  and  more  towards  its  utter  extinction.  The  wretched 
emperor,  Valentinian  III.,  murdered  with  his  own  hand  ^Etius, 
who  had  been  the  support  of  the  empire,  and  who  had  once  more 
saved  it  in  the  Catalaunian  plains,  against  Attila,  because  he  had 
been  made  to  suspect  him.  Valentinian  himself  was  slain,  at  the  in- 
stigation of  Petronius  Maximus,  who  now  became  emperor,  and 
forced  Eudocia,  the  widow  of  the  murdered  monarch,  to  marry 
him.  She  however,  out  of  revenge,  invited  the  Vandal  king, 
Geiserich,  from  Africa.  He  came,  conquered  in  455  the  city  of 
Rome,  plundered  and  devastated  it  in  a  dreadful  manner  for  the 
space  of  fourteen  days,  as  if,  by  him,  Fate  retaliated  upon  the 
Romans,  for  their  terrible  destruction  of  Carthage  six  hundred 
years  before.  He  then  embarked  again  for  Africa,  with  a  fleet  of 
many  ships,  loaded  with  costly  booty  and  prisoners  of  all  classes, 
who  were  sold  as  slaves. 

After  Valentinian,  nine  sovereigns,  in  the  short  space  of  twenty 
years,  bore  the  degraded  title  of  Emperor  of  Rome.  At  last,  in 
the  year  476,  Odoacer,  a  prince  of  Scyric  descent,  commander  of 
an  allied  horde  of  Scyri,  Herulians,  Rugians,  and  Turcilingi,  a  man 
equally  distinguished  for  his  mental  powers  and  physical  strength, 
thrust  the  last  of  those  shadowy  emperors,  Romulus  Momyllus 
or  Augustulus,  as  yet  a  boy,  from  the  throne,  and  called  himself 
King  of  Italy.  The  tender  age  of  the  young  emperor  when  he 
laid  aside  the  purple  robes,  the  crown  and  arms,  and  came  and 
deposited  them  in  the  camp,  caused  him  to  be  spared,  and  he  was 
sent  by  Odoacer  to  a  castle  in  Campania.  The  above-named  tribes, 
who  doubtlessly  belonged  to  the  Gothic  confederation,  had  gra- 
dually advanced  from  their  earlier  dwellings  on  the  Baltic  towards 

he  was  there  grouped  with  Hermanarich  and  the  subsequent  Theodoric  (Dieterich,  of 
Berne).  He  does  not,  however,  appear  there  as  an  enemy  to  the  Germans,  but  as  a 
mighty  valiant  ruler  in  the  east  of  Germany. 


the  south,  until  they  found  a  dwelling  on  the  Danube  and  the 
frontiers  of  Italy,  and  there  served  the  Romans  frequently  for  pay. 
This  small  band,  therefore,  at  last  extinguished  the  Roman  empire, 
in  the  year  476,  and  in  the  1230th  year  since  the  foundation  of  the 

About  this  period  the  following  was  the  manner  in  which  the 
countries  of  the  western  empire  were  divided  among  foreign  tribes, 
the  result  of  the  great  migration  which  had  taken  place  a  century 

Italy  was  under  the  dominion  of  Odoacer,  and  his  kingdom  ex- 
tended itself  towards  the  north,  across  the  Alps,  as  far  as  the 
Danube.  In  Hungary  the  Ostro-Goths  were  powerful,  and  the 
Longobardi  had  long  before  advanced  from  their  seats  upon  the  Elbe, 
and  fixed  themselves  to  the  north  of  the  Danube,  towards  the  Theiss. 
In  Bavaria  was  formed  by  degrees,  (without  history  giving  a  de- 
tailed account  of  it)  from  remnants  of  the  Rugi,  Heruli,  Scyri,  Tur- 
cilingi,  and  certainly  from  Suevic  tribes,  particularly  the  Marcomanni 
— the  nation  of  Bojoarians'under  the  royal  race  of  the  Agilolfi.  The 
name  more  particularly  indicates  the  descent  from  the  Marcomanni, 
coming  from  Bohemia,  inasmuch  as  the  more  ancient  name  of  this 
country,  Boja  or  Bojos,  has  been  transferred  to  Bojoheim,  Baiheim, 
or  Beheim.  The  Marcomanni,  who  had  previously  wandered  back 
to  this  country,  after  the  Danube  districts  had  become  free,  fixed 
themselves  in  Franconia  and  Bavaria,  and  called  themselves  Bojoari 
or  Bajovari. 

The  Allemanni  dwelt  in  the  eastern  part  of  Switzerland,  in 
Swabia,  and  down  both  banks  of  the  Rhine,  as  far  as  the  Lahn  and 
Cologne.  On  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine  they  were  afterwards 
called  Alsatians.  The  name  of  Suevi  also  appears  about  this  time 
among  them,  and  has  preserved  itself  to  this  day  in  the  name  of  the 
country:  Swabia. 

In  the  centre  of  Germany,  from  the  present  Harz  mountains  to 
Franconia,  the  powerful  Thuringians  held  their  sway,  whose  earlier 
history  is  very  obscure.  They  first  appear  noticed  about  the  middle 
of  the  fifth  century,  without  our  author  mentioning  their  origin  or 
earlier  state. 

In  Lower  Saxony  and  Westphalia  the  Saxons  retained  their 
ancient  seats  and  constitution,  and  close  to  them  on  the  North  Sea 
were  the  Friesi. 

On  the  Lower  Rhine,  on  the  Maas  and  the  Scheldt,  as  far  as  the 
Netherlands,  and  in  the  north  of  France,  dwelt  the  branches  of  the 
Franks;  the  most  considerable  of  which  were  the  Salians,  in  the 
Netherlands,  and  the  Ripuarians,  dwelling  along  the  coasts  of  the 

Close  to  them,  on  the  Seine,  a  Roman  governor,  of  the  name  of 
Syagrius,  maintained  his  power  for  ten  years  longer,  until  the  year 
486,  when  already  there  was  no  longer  an  emperor  in  Rome.  The 
north-western  point  of  France,  the  present  Britany,  had  already 


been  occupied  much  earlier  by  fugitives  from  Britain,  who  had  fled 
before  the  Picts,  and  then  formed  under  the  name  of  Armorica;  an 
alliance  of  free  cities. 

South-eastern  France,  Savoy  and  western  Switzerland  belonged 
now  to  the  Burgundians.  Their  chief  cities  were  Geneva,  Be- 
sanc^on,  Lyons,  and  Vienne.  The  Burgundians  were  certainly 
the  mildest  of  the  conquering  tribes  of  this  period,  being  early 
attached  to  Christianity,  cultivation,  and  art;  and  to  them  that 
portion  of  France  is  indebted  for  its  many  remains  of  ancient 
Roman  works  of  art.  In  Switzerland  the  French  language  still 
marks  its  ancient  boundaries  against  the  Allernanni,  for  the  Bur- 
gundians mixed  more  with  the  Romans,  and  adopted  much  of  their 

South-western  France,  from  the  Loire  and  Rhone  to  the  Pyra- 
nees,  as  well  as  a  great  portion  of  Spain,  was  subject  to  the  Western 
Goths,  but  north-western  Spain  to  the  Suevi. 

The  north-western  coast  of  Africa  was  Vandalian.  In  Britain  the 
Angeli  and  Saxons  by  degrees  retained  their  power  and  augmented 
it  more  and  more. 

The  east  and  north-eastern  portion  of  Germany  was  left  com- 
paratively bare  by  the  advance  of  the  tribes  towards  the  south  and 
west,  and  Slavonic  tribes  migrated  increasingly  thither,  who  had 
been  seated  on  those  boundaries  from  time  immemorial,  and  who 
had  also  perhaps  been  partly  subject  to  the  Germans.  Those  foreign 
branches  now  gained  the  superiority,  and  the  remains  of  the  Ger- 
mans who  would  not  quit  their  original  dwelling-place,  became  sub- 
ject to,  and  were  dispersed  amongst  them. 





THE  historical  writers  of  this  period  form  but  a  very  limited  class,  and  are  of  very 
unequal  estimation.  What  they  relate  of  the  earlier  times  is  mostly  founded  on  tra- 
dition, and  can  scarcely  be  placed  in  conjunction  with  what  has  been  furnished  by 
the  Roman  authors ;  still,  in  reference  to  the  history  of  their  own  period,  and  those 
immediately  preceding,  they  are  nevertheless  of  high  importance : 

1.  For  the  "History  of  the  Franks,"  we  may  consider  as  a  principal  writer,  Gre- 
gory, bishop  of  Tours  (Gregorius  Turonensis),  who  died  in  the  year  595.    He  calls 
his  book  an  ecclesiastical  history,  but  therein  he  describes  generally  the  acts  and  pro- 
ceedings of  the  Franks,  in  ten  books,  until  the  year  591.     His  language,  charac- 
teristic of  his  time,  is  uncivilized,  his  description  confused  and  interrupted  by 
legendary  wonders,  going,  however,  very  deeply  into  the  details,  and  in  reference  to 
subsequent  years,  as  the  record  of  a  contemporary,  it  is  very  exact,  and  thus  renders 
him  equally  instructive;  he  likewise  possesses  the  merit  of  being  honest  and  a  lover 
of  truth.     He  has  been  styled  the  Herodotus  of  this  period. 

Fredegar,  about  the  year  650,  made  from  Gregory's  work  a  short  abridgment,  in- 
terspersed with  fables,  ("  Historia  Francorum  Epitomata,")  which  proceeds  as  far  as 
the  year  584,  and  then  continues  the  history  in  a  "  Chronicum"  until  641.  This  "  Chro- 
nicum"  was  again  taken  up  and  resumed  by  three  other  men,  but  with  certain  chasms, 
until  768;  very  meagre  and  without  connection,  but  still  important  because  the 
writers  were  chiefly  witnesses  of  the  events  described.  The  "  Gesta  regurn  Fran- 
corum," are,  likewise,  in  part  extracted  from  Gregory,  whose  description  they 
continue  to  the  year  720,  very  briefly  and  not  without  many  inaccuracies. 

With  these  and  later  are,  the  "  Annals,"  short  sketches  which  were  made  annually 
in  the  monasteries,  of  the  most  important  events,  and  thus,  at  least,  in  part  originate 
from  eye-witnesses.  They  were  afterwards  copied  and  communicated  from  the  one 
monastery  to  the  other,  often  augmented  there,  then  subsequently  various  portions 
corrected  and  prepared,  and  thus  they  acquired  greater  extent  and  value.  The  most 
important  are  those  which  bear  the  simple  title  "Annalis  Laurissenses,"  from  a 
monastery  in  the  Upper  Rhine  province,  which  go  on  from  741  to  788,  and  were 
acontinued  by  Eginhardt,  from  778  to  829.  They  have  been  partially  published  in 
the  older  collections,  but  more  completely  given  in  the  "  Monumenta  Germanise  His- 
torica,"  collected  by  Pertz. 

2.  For  the  "History  of  the  Goths"  are  to  be  mentioned: 

a.  Cassiodorus,  invested  with  high  offices  of  state,  under  Odoacer,  Theodoric,  and 
their  successors,  and  who  died  in  the  year  565,  in  the  convent  Vivarosa;  he  wrote  a 
history  of  the  Goths,  which,  unfortunately,  was  lost.    There  have,  however,  been 
preserved  his  "  XII  Libri  Variarum,"  a  very  important  work,  because  it  contains 
edicts,  instructions,  and  documents,  which  were  written  in  the  names  of  the  kings ; 
learned,  elegant,  but  vain  and  verbose. 

b.  The  monk  Jordanis  (thus  he  is  called,  and  not  Jornandes,  in  the  more  ancient 
documents,  and  by  himself  likewise),  a  Goth,  living  about  the  middle  of  the  sixth 
century,  has  brought  into  an  abridgment — de  rebus   Geticis — the  lost  history  of 
Cassiodorus,  but  has  disfigured  it  by  the  interlineation  of  every  thing  he  knew  or  heard 
of  besides.   Still,  although  without  judgment  and  historical  knowledge,  his  book  is  of 
the  highest  value,  inasmuch  as  for  many  events  that  is  nearly  our  only  source.    It 
extends  to  the  year  540. 

c.  The  parallel  of  "  Procopii  Caesarensis  Vandalica  et  Gothica"  may  in  the  details 
explain  much,  because  the  Greek  proceeds  upon  very  different  views  to  those  of  the 
western  writers. 

d.  Isidor,  Bishop  of  Seville,  (Isidorus  Hispalensis),  who  died  in  636,  wrote  a  short 
history  of  the  Goths,  Vandals,  and  Suevians,  to  the  year  628,  but  which  again  ex- 


plains  nothing  about  the  earlier  history  of  these  nations,  and  refers  more  properly  to 
Spain  alone. 

3.  The  chief  writer  on  the  history  of  the  Longobardi  is  Paul  Diaconus,  the  son  ot 
Warnefried,  one  of  the  first  men  of  his  age,  living  at  the  courts  of  Desiderius  and 
Charlemagne,  and  who  died  as  a  monk  on  Mount  Cassino  in  the  year  799.    In  his 
"  De  Gestis  Langobardorum  libri  vi."  he  describes  the  deeds  of  his  nation  with  a  great 
predilection  for  tradition ;  the  commencement  is  quite  unhistorical,  but  subsequently 
he  becomes  more  careful  and  exact,  and  presents  us  with  detailed  information  ex- 
tremely valuable. 

4.  For  German  history  likewise  are  of  great  importance  the  Biographies  of  the 
Roman  Pontiffs,  at  least  from  the  eighth  century,  composed  by  contemporary  writers ; 
they  continue  to  the  beginning  of  the  ninth  century. 

5.  Extremely  important  also  are  the  letters  of  distinguished  men  which  have  bsen 
handed  down  to  us  from  that  period,  especially  those  of  Saint  Boniface,  as  well  as  the 
biographies  of  him  and  other  holy  men  (Vitae  Sanctorum)  which  often  present  the 
most  faithful  picture  of  their  times,  and  have  preserved  for  us  the  most  valuable 

6.  and  lastly;  for  our  research  into  the  relations  of  life,  the  manners,  customs,  and 
institutions,  are  very  important,  the  "  Laws  of  the  German  nations  or  tribes,"  who 
belonged  to  the  Franconian  empire :  the  Salians,  Ripuarians,   Allemannians,  Bur- 
gundians,  and  Bavarians,  and  later,  the  Saxons  and  Thuringians.     But  there  remains 
much  therein  which  is  very  obscure,  inasmuch  as  they  contain  principally  only  the 
penal  law  of  these  people,  and  cannot  therefore  yield  us  the  desired  information  re- 
specting the  other  relations,  are  not  regulated  according  to  general  principles,  contain 
nothing  of  the  constitution  of  the  empire  beyond  what  refers  to  the  administration  of 
the  law,  and  present  even  in  that  portion  what  to  our  eye  appears  very  fragmentary. 




Clovis,  King  of  the  Franks,  482-511— Theodoric,  surnamed  Dieterich  of  Berne,  488- 
526 — The  Longobardi  in  Italy,  568 — Changes  in  the  Customs  and  Institutions  of 
the  Germans — The  Language — Constitution— Feudal  System — Laws — Pastimes — 
Christianity  in  Germany — The  Grand  Chamberlains — Charles  Martel  against  the 
Arabs,  732 — Pepin  the  Little — The  Carlovingians. 

DURING-  the  great  movements  of  the  tribes,  which  we  have  just 
related,  the  Franks  had  not,  like  the  Goths,  Burgundians,  and  other 
nations,  migrated  from  their  dwellings  to  settle  themselves  elsewhere, 
but  they  remained  in  their  own  seat,  and  from  thence  conquered  only 
that  portion  of  Gaul  which  lies  to  the  north  of  the  Forest  of  Ar- 
dennes. And  this  forest  also  sheltered  them  from  being  drawn  into  the 
great  stream  of  migration.  Their  division  also  into  several  branches, 
each  of  which  had  its  own  king  or  prince,  prevented  them  from 
making  extensive  and  general  expeditions. 

But  their  time  came.  About  the  year  482,  Clovis,  or  as  we  should 
say  Lewis,  the  son  of  Gilderich,  became  Prince  of  the  Salian  Franks ; 
and  he  soon  prepared  himself  to  execute  the  plans  of  his  bold  and 
comprehensive  mind,  for  the  bent  of  his  ardent  spirit  was  to  make 
war  and  conquest.  Clovis  belongs  to  that  class  of  rulers  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  world,  who  think  all  ways  good  that  lead  to  dominion. 


He  has  sullied  the  celebrity  of  his  military  fame  by  the  most  des- 
picable want  of  faith  to  his  relatives  and  allies.  He  at  first  concluded 
with  the  princes  of  the  Franks,  who  were  his  equals,  and  for  the 
majority  fcs  relatives,  alliances  of  war  against  other  tribes,  and  after 
he  had  conquered  them  by  their  assistance  and  had  become  powerful, 
he  then  also  despatched  those  very  friends  out  of  his  way  by  poison, 
the  dagger,  and  treachery.  By  this  means  he  became  eventually 
King  of  all  the  Franks. 

Of  his  foreign  enemies,  he  first  attacked,  when  only  twenty,  the 
Roman  governor  Syagrius,  whom  we  mentioned  above,  effectually 
beat  him  at  Soissons  (Suessiones),  and  occupied  the  country  as  far 
as  the  Loire.  Syagrius,  who  fled  to  the  Western  Goths,  was  obliged 
to  be  delivered  up  to  Clovis  and  was  executed.  This  commencement 
of  the  conquests  of  Clovis  took  place  in  the  year  486,  ten  years  after 
Romulus  Augustulus  was  deposed. 

He  then  advanced  with  his  army  against  the  Allemanni,  who  in 
the  meantime  had  fallen  upon  the  country  of  the  Ripuarian  Franks, 
for  both  nations  having  their  boundaries  upon  the  river  Lahn,  had 
been  enemies  for  years.  They  met  in  the  year  496,  near  Zulpich, 
in  the  district  of  Juliers,  and  fought  bitterly  against  each  other,  and 
the  victory  already  inclined  to  the  side  of  the  Allemanni,  when  in  the 
heat  of  the  battle,  his  soul  excited  by  anxiety,  Clovis  fell  upon  his 
knees  and  vowed  to  become  a  Christian ;  and  as  victory  now  absolutely 
turned  on  his  side,  he  caused  himself  and  three  thousand  of  his  Franks 
to  be  baptized  in  Rheims,  at  the  subsequent  Easter  festival,  by  the 
Bishop  Remigius.  This  was  the  commencement  of  the  introduction  of 
the  Christian  faith  among  the  Franks,  and  Clovis  was  henceforward 
called  the  eldest  son  of  the  church  and  the  most  Christian  king.  His 
consort  Clotilda,  the  daughter  of  a  Burgundian  prince,  had  long 
wished  to  convert  him  to  the  better  faith  by  the  force  of  gentle  per- 
suasion ;  he,  however,  had  always  despised  it  until  the  necessity  of  the 
battle  overpowered  him,  and  it  was  indeed  very  evident  both  in  him 
and  in  the  Franks  in  general,  that  their  conversion  was  a  work  of 
mere  compulsion.  For  Clovis  murdered  his  relatives  after  as  well 
as  before,  and  subdued  one  Christian  nation  after  the  other,  whilst  the 
Franks  for  several  centuries  bore  the  character  of  being  the  most 
treacherous  of  all  the  German  nations. 

After  the  Allemanni  were  reduced  and  the  kingdom  of  the  Franks 
had  spread  itself  along  the  Rhine  to  Switzerland,  and  after  the  Bur- 
gundians  were  obliged  to  promise  tribute,  Clovis  bent  his  eyes  to- 
wards the  kingdom  of  the  West  Goths,  who  possessed  the  most  beau- 
tiful portion  of  France  in  the  south.  Thus  although  he  had  only 
shortly  before  had  a  conference  with  their  king,  Alaric,  and  had  sworn 
friendship  to  him,  he  yet  determined  to  attack  him  as  an  enemy. 

The  wise  Ostro-Gothic  king,  Theodoric,  who  previously  to  this  had 
founded  his  dominion  in  Italy,  counselled  the  unruly  Clovis,  whose 
sister,  Audofleda,  was  his  consort,  in  the  most  urgent  manner  from 
his  unjust  expedition  against  Alaric,  and  reminded  him  that  peace 


and  union  became  Christian  nations.  But  Clovis,  who  knew  only 
the  language  of  the  sword  and  of  rude  force,  gave  no  ear  to  him;  he 
attacked  the  Westro-Gothic  kingdom;  and,  in  the  year  507,  in  a 
plain  of  the  river  Vienne,  near  Vougle  or  Vironne,  fought  and  won 
a  great  battle  in  which  Alaric  himself  fell,  transpierced  by  the  spear 
of  Clovis,  who  took  possession  of  the  chief  cities  of  his  country,  and 
would,  no  doubt,  have  destroyed  the  whole  kingdom,  had  not  the 
great  Theodoric  stepped  between  and  driven  him  back  with  a  strong 
hand.  He  was,  therefore,  obliged  to  content  himself  with  the  coun- 
try between  the  Loire  and  the  Garonne. 

Clovis  did  not  live  long  after  this,  but  died  at  Paris,  in  the  year 
511,  in  the  forty- third  year  of  his  age,  and  his  empire  was  divided 
between  his  four  sons. 

His  successors  to  the  throne  of  the  Franks,  who  are  called  the 
Merovingians,  were  in  general  worthy  of  their  founder.  It  appeared 
as  if  vice  and  tyranny,  unheard  of  cruelty,  and  savage  revenge  were 
hereditary  in  this  family,  and  as  if  a  curse  had  from  the  beginning 
been  poured  over  them.  In  the  space  of  forty  years  six  Merovingian 
kings  were  destroyed  by  poison  or  the  sword ;  and  the  intrigues  and 
revengeful  passions  of  malicious  women  form  an  important  feature 
in  these  horrid  scenes.  It  cannot,  therefore,  suit  the  purport  of  this 
history  to  penetrate  further  into  the  details  of  these  events,  which 
are  equally  as  unnourishing  to  the  mind,  as  they  are  unfruitful  in  re- 
gard to  the  knowledge  it  is  so  desirable  to  obtain  from  the  great  en- 
tirety of  our  history.  The  nation  of  the  Franks,  under  such  princes, 
could  not  possibly  be  raised  from  its  state  of  moral  rudeness  and 
degradation,  but  necessarily  became  plunged  more  deeply  in  vice. 
Their  power,  however,  continued  to  extend  itself  more  and  more. 
They  by  degrees  subjected  the  Burgundians,  and  in  Germany  the 
powerful  nation  of  the  Thuringians,  and  the  dukes  of  Bavaria  sought 
their  protection.  About  the  middle  of  the  sixth  century  all  the 
German  nations  from  the  frontiers  of  the  Saxons  to  the  Alps  allied 
themselves  with  the  kingdom  of  the  Franks;  Franks,  Thuringians, 
Allemans  or  Swabians,  and  Bavarians.  The  Saxons  alone  and  the 
Friesi  still  remained  independent  in  their  north-western  dwellings. 

When,  after  king  Attila's  death,  the  kingdom  of  the  Hunns  fell 
asunder,  the  Ostro-Goths,  as  has  been  already  mentioned,  became 
again  free,  and  dwelt  in  Hungary  and  the  neighbouring  countries  of 
the  Danube.  They  had  frequent  disputes  with  the  emperor,  in  Con- 
stantinople, and  upon  one  of  these  occasions  Theodoric  or  Dieterich, 
a  son  of  one  of  their  princes,  was  sent  as  hostage  to  that  city,  and 
there  he  saw,  as  had  Marbodius  and  Arminius  formerly,  in  Rome, 
the  institutions  of  a  great  empire.  He  remained  there  ten  years, 
and  was  instructed  in  the  Grecian  arts  and  sciences,  so  that  no  Ger- 
man prince  of  his  time  equalled  him  in  accomplishments.  After  the 
death  of  his  father,  Theodemir,  and .  of  his  uncles,  he  became  sole 
king  of  the  Ostro-Goths,  and  now  resolved,  like  other  rulers,  to  found 
for  his  people  a  large  and  beautiful  kingdom,  for  they  longed  to  be 


led  to  more  desirable  lands  than  trie  wastes  near  the  Sau  and  the 
Danube.  The  Emperor  of  Constantinople,  Zeno,  who  considered 
himself  now  as  the  sole  inheritor  of  the  entire  ancient  empire  of 
the  Romans,  upon  this  presented  him  with  the  land  of  Italy  as  the 
reward  for  services  rendered,  and  instead  of  his  promised  subsidies 
in  money.  Italy  was  still  under  the  rule  of  Odoacer,  but  his  king- 
dom was  not  properly  to  be  considered  German,  because  the  Her  Li- 
lians and  Rugians  formed  but  a  small  portion  of  his  people. 

Theodoric  broke  up  with  his  nation  in  the  year  488,  pressed 
through  the  passes  of  Italy  and  encountered  Odoacer  near  Aquileja 
and  Verona.  But  the  Italians  fought  with  little  zeal  for  their  king, 
and  he  was  both  times  obliged  to  fly.  King  Theodoric,  from  this 
last  battle,  was  styled  in  legendary  songs  and  ballads,  in  a  multitude 
of  which  his  fame  was  recorded,  the  great  hero,  Dieterich  of  Berne 
(which  signifies  Verona).  Immediately  after  this,  Odoacer  was  a 
third  time  defeated  near  the  Adda,  after  his  own  city,  Rome,  had 
shut  its  gates  against  him,  and  for  three  years  he  was  besieged  in 
Ravenna  until,  in  the  year  493,  he  was  at  last  forced  to  yield,  and 
his  lands  fell  into  the  hands  of  Theodoric,  by  whom  he  was  killed. 
His  kingdom  had  lasted  seventeen  years.  Theodoric  became  lord  of 
Italy,  and  ruler  over  the  countries  beyond  the  Alps  to  the  Danube, 
and  in  the  wars  of  the  Franks  and  Westro-Goths  he  made  himself 
master  of  the  provinces  as  far  as  the  Rhone,  an  extensive  and  beau- 
tiful kingdom,  which  might  have  existed  to  the  present  day  if  his 
successors  had  equalled  him  in  wisdom  and  virtue.  His  chief  cities 
were  Ravenna  and  Verona. 

He  himself  reigned  more  than  thirty  years,  and  was  not  only  a 
kind  and  mild  master  to  his  Goths,  but  also  a  gentle  ruler  over  his 
Roman  subjects  and  all  who  dwelt  in  Italy;  so  much  so,  that  this 
country  had  not  enjoyed  so  happy  a  time  for  many  centuries  as  under 
him,  the  foreign  prince.  Agriculture  and  trade  again  flourished. 
Art  and  science  found  in  him  a  protector,  and  ancient  cities,  lying 
in  ruins,  were  rebuilt.  Italy  enjoyed  under,  and  subsequent  to  his 
reign,  for  a  period  of  forty  years,  continued  peace,  and  was  so  dili- 
gently cultivated,  that  it  not  only  grew  sufficient  grain  for  its  own 
consumption,  but  could  even  export  it  to  Gaul,  whilst  formerly, 
under  the  Roman  emperors,  it  was  always  necessary  to  procure  a 
supply  from  Sicily  and  Africa. 

His  wisdom  and  justice  raised  him  above  all  the  kings  of  his  time. 
He  stepped  among  them  like  the  father  of  a  large  family  and  an  in- 
stitutor  of  peace;  and  the  most  distant  tribes  had  recourse  to  his 
counsel,  and  honoured  him  with  presents.  To  the  other  kings  of 
German  origin,  with  almost  all  of  whom  he  had  allied  himself  by 
marriage,  he  wrote  as  a  father  thus:  "  You  all  possess  proofs  of  my 

?)cd-will.     You  are  young  heroes,  and  it  is  my  duty  to  counsel  you. 
our  disorder  and  irregularities  grieve  me ;  it  is  not  a  matter  of  in- 
difference to  me  to  behold  how  you  allow  yourselves  to  be  go- 
verned by  your  passions,  for  the  passions  of  kings  are  the  ruin  of 



nations ;  whilst,  on  the  contrary,  your  friendship  and  unity  together 
are,  as  it  were,  the  veins  through  which  the  wishes  of  nations  flow 
into  each  other." 

He  placed  such  principles  before  their  eyes,  and  showed  thereby 
that  his  mind  had  formed  the  conception  of  a  great  alliance,  founded 
upon  justice  and  wisdom,  between  all  the  Christian  nations  of 
German  origin,  who  had  fixed  their  seat  in  Europe.  An  alliance, 
such  as  reason  has  depicted  before  the  eyes  of  all  ages  as  a  sublime 
picture;  and  as  it  has  displayed  itself,  from  time  to  time,  by  the 
mouths  of  enlightened  men,  so  that  justice  and  order,  and  especially 
the  spirit  of  Christian  unity,  should  predominate,  and  hatred  and 
thirst  after  prey  be  reined  in — evils  which,  alas  !  through  the  want 
of  such  an  alliance,  have  ravaged  Europe  from  one  end  to  the  other. 
Had  Theodoric  been  enabled  to  form  such  a  noble  union,  he  would 
have  founded  more  of  that  which  is  truly  grand  than  the  ancient 
Romans,  over  whose  possessions  he  had  now  become  ruler,  and  whose 
empire  he  was  anxidus  to  restore,  not  by  the  rude  force  of  arms,  but 
in  the  form  of  a  peaceful  alliance  of  nations.  But  as  the  mild  force 
of  truth  and  justice  always  finds  its  enemy  in  the  selfishness  of  those 
who  only  seek  their  own  advantage  and  the  indulgence  of  their  pas- 
sions, Theodoric,  consequently,  experienced  that  the  world  was  not 
then  yet  rife  enough  for  the  fruction  of  his  great  ideas ;  for  whilst  he 
preached  peace  with  earnestness  and  love,  Clovis,  the  Frank,  raged 
war  with  his  sword,  despising  his  doctrine,  and  seeking  only  to  bring 
a  multitude  of  tribes  under  his  dominion. 

The  great  Theodoric  died  in  the  year  526.  His  monarchy  had 
now  no  duration;  for  his  son,  Athalaric,  was  but  just  ten  years  old, 
and  died  shortly  after  his  father.  The  nobles  of  his  kingdom  were 
no  longer  unanimous,  but  elevated  and  deposed  several  kings 
after  each  other.  The  Roman  subjects,  also,  could  not  forget  that 
their  rulers  were  Goths,  and  attached  to  the  Arian  faith.  They  • 
wished  themselves  again  under  the  Greek  emperors,  who  dwelt  in 
Constantinople,  and  were  members  of  the  orthodox  church,  al- 
though the  dominion  of  these  emperors  had  become  lamentably  bad, 
and  was  in  a  ruinous  state.  It  was  then  that  the  Emperor  Justinian, 
who  was  one  of  the  best  of  the  series,  took  advantage  of  this  dis- 
content, and  sent  his  general,  Belisarius,  and  after  him  Narses,  into 
Italy,  to  subject  this  country  again  to  his  rule.  A  long  and  severe 
war  arose,  conducted  by  the  Goths  with  their  usual  valour,  but  with- 
out success,  and  which  destroyed  the  country,  and  almost  depopu- 
lated Rome  by  several  sieges,  so  that  no  trace  was  left  of  its  ancient 

The  Goths  raised  themselves  once  more,  after  four  of  their  sove- 
reigns had  been  destroyed,  under  their  king,  Totilas,  who  was  worthy 
of  ruling  the  dominions  of  Theodoric ;  but  as  he  also,  after  he  had  fought 
with  fame  for  eleven  years,  was  killed  in  the  year  552,  in  a  battle 
against  Narses.  and  ten  months  afterwards,  his  successor,  Tejas,  fell  like- 
wise in  the  three  days'  desperate  battle  near  Cuma,  the  Gothic  kingdom 


sunk  into  such  a  ruinous  state  that  twenty-seven  years  after  the  death 
of  Theodoric,  and  in  the  year  553,  the  Ostro-Goths  were  not  only 
vanquished,  but  also  almost  entirely  annihilated.  A  few  only  escaped 
over  the  Alps  to  seek  an  asylum  among  other  German  nations. 

Fifteen  vears  after  the  fall  of  the  Ostro-Goths,  another  valiant 
German  nation,  the  Longobardi,  who  had  taken  possession  of  the  earlier 
dwelling-places  of  the  former  on  the  Danube,  executed  an  act  of  re- 
taliation, justly  timed  for  them,  on  the  Greeks.  The  Greek  general, 
Narses,  upon  falling  under  the  displeasure  of  the  Emperor  Justinian, 
had  himself  called  forward  their  king,  Alboni  or  Albwin,  who 
had  already  overcome  the  Gepidi,  and  now  ruled  in  Hungary,  Aus- 
tria, Carruthia,  and  even  in  a  portion  of  Bavaria.  This  king  pos- 
sessed that  heroic  courage  which  graves  itself  deeply  in  the  hearts 
of  nations.  Not  only  his  own  nation,  but  those  of  the  Saxons  and 
Bavarians  sang  his  praise  for  centuries  after  his  death. 

On  the  second  day  of  April,  in  the  year  568,  the  King  Alboni 
broke  up  from  Hungary  with  all  his  Longobardian  men,  their 
women  and  children,  accompanied  by  20,000  Saxons.  The  country 
they  hitherto  possessed  was  left  by  them  to  their  allies,  the  Avari, 
who  were  found  still  there  by  Charlemagne  subsequently.  It  was  a 
morning  full  of  splendour  when,  from  the  heights  of  one  of  the  ad- 
vanced mountains  of  the  Alps,  which  was  afterwards  called  the 
King's  Mountain,  the  astonished  strangers  cast  their  eyes  down  upon, 
their  new  and  beautiful  country.  Wherever  Alboni  passed  he 
showed  his  veneration  for  the  church,  and  sought,  on  every  occa- 
sion, the  affection  of  the  people.  By  the  conquest  of  Pavia,  at  the 
confluence  of  the  Ticino  and  the  Po,  he  founded  his  dominion  in 
Upper  Italy,  which,  to  the  present  day,  has  been  called  Lombardy, 
from  the  Longobardi,  and  he  made  it  the  chief  city  of  those  districts. 
In  Lower  Italy,  also,  this  nation  conquered  beautiful  tracts  of  land, 
and  founded  the  principality  Benevento,  which  comprises  the  greatest 
portion  of  the  present  kingdom  of  Naples.  But  Rome  and  Ravenna 
remained  in  the  hands  of  the  Greeks,  who  gained  the  Franks  to 
their  side  by-  presents,  in  order  that  they  might,  by  their  means,  pre- 
vent the  Longobardi  from  taking  possession  of  the  whole  of  Italy, 
and  consolidate  it  into  one  powerful  and  strong  kingdom.  And,  un- 
fortunately for  the  country,  in  this  object  they  succeeded.  From 
that  period  to  this  day,  Italy  has  remained  disunited,  and  has  endured 
the  severe  fate  of  a  divided  country,  internally  rent.  Strangers  have, 
from  time  immemorial,  contested  for  its  possession,  and  its  ground 
has  been  deluged  with  streams  of  native  and  foreign  blood. 
|£  The  Longobardi  cultivated  their  newly-acquired  country  so  ad- 
mirably, that  the  melancholy  traces  of  former  devastation  became 
daily  less  discernible.  The  king  also  procured  his  supplies  from  the 
produce  of  his  possessions ;  and  from  one  farm  to  another  he  was  re- 
gular in  his  visits  of  inspection ;  living,  in  fact,  with  all  the  simplicity 
of  a  patriarch,  combined  with  the  dignity  of  a  great  military  leader. 
Their  free-men,  as  among  the  ancient  Romans,  laboured  of  their 



own  accord  to  turn  the  desert  and  waste  tracts  into  arable  land,  thug 
distinguishing  themselves  from  other  German  nations.  Agriculture 
flourished  particularly  around  monasteries,  whose  chronicles,  says  a 
great  German  writer,  contain  the  less  dazzling  but  more  satisfactory 
history,  of  the  way  in  wrhich  they  almost  overcame,  or,  at  least, 
assisted  Nature,  and  how  cheerful  gardens  and  smiling  fields  covered 
the  ruins  of  ancient  Italy. 

The  majority  of  German  nations,  at  the  time  of  the  great  migra- 
tion, had  come  into  new  countries  wholly  different  from  their  for- 
mer settlements,  and  there  found  inhabitants  of  a  different  race,  with 
other  languages,  manners,  and  laws.  They,  consequently,  could  not 
themselves  continue  to  exist  stationary  in  their  new  country  upon  the 
same  footing  that  they  had  been  used  to  in  their  former  homes ;  and  it 
is  important  that  we  should  place  before  our  view,  in  its  broad  outline, 
the  great  difference  presented  between  the  tribes  which  had  wandered 
forth  as  conquerors,  and  those  which  had  remained  behind  adhering 
to  their  ancient  simple  customs. 

The  German  conquerors  found  in  Gaul,  Spain,  Italy,  and  Eng- 
land, inhabitants  consisting  of  Romans  and  natives  mixed.  They 
left  them ,  it  is  true,  after  they  had  appropriated  to  themselves  a  por- 
tion of  their  possessions,  in  their  dwelling-places,  but  generally  as  an 
ignoble  and  degenerate  race.  By  the  laws  of  the  Franks,  the  fine 
for  killing  a  Roman  or  a  Gaul  was  only  the  half,  and  in  some  cases 
but  one  fourth,  of  what  it  was  for  a  free  Frank.  Afterwards,  not- 
withstanding their  original  separation  and  distinctive  character,  it 
could  not  well  be  otherwise  but  that  the  Germans  by  degrees  became 
mixed  with  the  natives,  and  that  many  of  the  latter,  who  were  su- 
perior to  the  Germans  in  knowledge,  as  well  as  in  cunning  and  re- 
finement, speedily  obtained,  under  weak  kings,  distinguished  officesT 
and  now  ruled  their  former  lords.  They  even  obtained,  as  services 
were  paid  only  with  land,  grants  of  possession  as  feudal  tenures,  and 
became  thereby  partakers  in  the  feudal  rights.  Romans  and  Gauls 
were  seen  to  rank  among  the  counts,  dukes,  and  grand  stewards,  and 
thence  arose,  although  perhaps  but  slowly,  a  mixture  of  nations,  and 
accordingly  of  manners,  languages,  and  forms  of  ideas. 

The  ancient  vigorous  nature  of  those  Germans  who  carrie  into 
warm  and  luxurious  countries,  became  enervated  by  effeminacy  and 
sensuality.  Thus  the  Vandals  in  Africa,  and  the  Ostro-Goths  in 
Italy,  in  the  course  of  twenty  years  after  their  arrival,  had  become  so 
much  transformed  and  degenerated,  that  they  submitted  to  enemies 
who  previously  could  scarcely  bear  their  powerful  glance.  The 
tribes,  however,  which  remained  in  Germany,  continued  as  firm  and 
vigorous  as  ever;  and  if  afterwards,  they  became  by  degrees,  more 
mild,  like  their  climate,  their  forests  were  nevertheless  cleared  so 
gradually,  that  the  change  in  the  people  took  place  without  too 
rapid,  and  thereby  injurious  a  transition. 

But  the  greatest  change  that  happened  to  the  migrated  German 
branches,  was  in  reference  to  their  language.  For,  as  in  the  con- 
quered countries,  the  Roman  or  Latin  language  was  chiefly  spoken, 


and  as  this  was  at  that  time  much  more  cultivated  than  the  German, 
it  could  not  be  supplanted  by  the  latter;  but  there  arose  a  mixture 
of  both,  whereby  they  became  changed,  and  the  indigenous  lan- 
guage of  the  country  before  the  Roman  period,  often  formed  a  third 
component  of  this  medley.  Consequently  in  France,  Spain,  Por- 
tugal, Italy,  and  England,  a  language  is  spoken  formed  by  a  mixture 
with  the  Roman,  which  may  perhaps  fall  more  gently  upon  the  ear 
than  the  German,  which  yet  retains  much  of  its  former  roughness 
from  the  ancient  forests ;  whilst,  however,  the  former  tongue  is  neither 
so  energetic,  so  hearty,  and  honest,  nor  so  rich  in  peculiar  words.  The 
German  language  remains  ever  fresh  and  florid,  and  is  open  to  con- 
tinual improvement  in  beauty  and  richness.  It  is  a  language  en- 
tirely original,  the  roots  of  which  ramify  into  the  aboriginal  founda- 
tions of  German  national  idiosyncrasy,  and  draws  its  nourishment 
from  the  rich  fountain  of  life  with  which  nature  has  endowed  the 
nation ;  it  may  be  compared  to  the  living  plant  in  a  fruitful  soil,  and 
the  labour  bestowed  upon  it,  is  as  that  of  the  gardener  who  watches 
and  carefully  attends  to  the  development  of  the  favourite  tree.  But 
the  language  formed  by  a  composition  of  many  others,  is  but  the 
work  of  man,  like  the  artificial  web  which  the  hand  of  man  pre- 
pares from  the  plants  of  the  field.  It  is  true  this  may  be  beautifully 
and  richly  worked  ;  but  it  is  then  and  for  all  times  finished,  and 
possesses  no  further  internal  power  of  life  and  growth. 

The  constitution  of  the  conquering  German  nations  necessarily 
became  also  essentially  changed.  At  home,  in  their  original  condi- 
tion, the  power  of  royalty  in  peace  was  but  insignificant.  The 
elders  or  counts,  as  the  appointed  judges  in  every  gau  or  district, 
regulated  the  usual  affairs,  adjudged  disputes  according  to  custom, 
and  upon  more  important  and  general  affairs  the  national  assembly 
was  convened.  But  in  war  the  power  of  the  leader  surpassed  every 
thing  else,  and  justly  so,  as  it  then  depended  upon  prompt  decisions. 
The  king  or  prince  was  the  unlimited  lord,  and  the  most  faithful 
of  his  suite  or  Gefolge  ranked  next  to  him.  When  such  a  war  had 
speedily  passed  away,  the  prince  again  retired  into  the  insignificance 
of  a  state  of  peace;  but  in  the  many  years  of  the  incursions,  amidst 
constant  warfare,  his  power  became  firmly  established.  The  whole 
nation  became  an  army,  and  it  accustomed  itself  to  the  obedience  ne- 
cessary in  war.  The  institutions  of  peace  lost  much  of  their  force,  and 
as  in  their  incursive  movements  they  had  no  country  they  could  call 
their  own,  their  whole  confidence  and  attachment  were  necessarily 
concentrated  in  their  leader,  who  led  them  to  victory  and  pillage, 
and  the  forcible  possession  of  a  new  country.  He  was  the  safeguard 
and  hope  of  the  nation ;  he  stood  to  them  in  lieu  of  home  and  father- 
land, and  those  who  stood  next  to  him,  as  his  suite,  were  the  most 

To  these  latter,  when  conquest  was  completed,  he  apportioned 
first  their  share  of  booty  and  of  land,  as  in  ancient  times  he  had 
given  them  only  their  horse,  arms,  and  entertainment.  But  without 

102  •       THE  -CONSTITUTION. 

doubt  he  took  to  himself  the  most  desirable  and  considerable  share, 
and  particularly  the  lands  of  the  conquered  or  slain  princes;  his 
power  being  thus  founded  by  his  possessions  and  strong  adherents. 
The  Goths,  the  Burgundians,  and  the  Longobardi,  who  came  as 
migrating  nations,  with  their  wives  and  children,  must  certainly 
have  exacted  from  the  conquered  a  considerable  portion  of  their  pos- 
sessions. The  Ostro-Goths  in  Italy  demanded  one-third  of  the  land, 
whilst  the  Westro-Goths  and  Burgundians  required  from  the  Gauls  as 
much  as  two-thirds.  The  Franks,  on  the  contrary,  made  their  con- 
quests in  excursions  from  home,  not  only  as  a  nation,  but  as  the 
suite  of  their  prince.  Their  numbers  were  not  great,  thence  they 
did  not  require  to  take  from  the  Gauls  and  Romans  any  portion  of 
their  land,  although,  according  to  their  ideas  of  the  rights  of  con- 
querors, they  considered  the  whole  as  their  property;  and  in  many 
cases,  no  doubt,  they  seized  much  of  private  property,  so  that  the 
chance  of  the  Gauls  became  often  much  more  fatal,  inasmuch  as  they 
were  more  immediately  exposed  to  the  wild  and  arbitrary  demands 
made.*  But  altogether,  they  still  found  in  what  the  Romans  had 
previously  possessed  as  national  property ,  a  sufficiency  of  land;  be- 
sides, in  those  portions  of  Gaul  which  they  took  from  the  Westro- 
Goths,  the  majority  of  those  land  possessions  fell  to  them  which 
the  latter,  upon  the  conquest,  had  appropriated  to  themselves;  for 
many  of  them  were  killed  in  the  war,  and  many  likewise  quitted 
the  country  and  advanced  into  Spain,  that  they  might  not  become 
slaves  to  the  Franks.  The  whole  mass  of  the  conquered  state- 
lands  above  mentioned  (according  to  the  Roman  expression  jfiscus), 
formed  now,  after  the  king  had  received  his  chief  portion,  the 
common  property  of  the  conquerors.  It  was  thence,  so  long  as  they 
held  together  as  an  army,  that  their  support  was  furnished ;  af- 
terwards, when  they  began  to  domicile  themselves  among  their 
new  subjects,  and,  according  to  the  original  disposition  of  German 
nations,  desired  to  obtain  entire  possession,  they  received  this 
from  the  mass  of  fiscal  lands,  as  a  reward  (beneficium)  for  the  mili- 
tary services  rendered;  and  for  which  they  remained  obligated  to 
afford  further  military  duty  at  the  command  of  the  king,  holding, 
however,  possession  of  the  land  merely  as  a  fief,  or  loan  (lehen), 
during  their  lives. 

From  this  commencement  was  developed  the  entire  constitution, 
afterwards  so  important  and  influential,  and  which  was  called  the 
feudal  state.  In  the  following  centuries  it  obtained,  by  degrees,  its 
full  perfection,  particularly  when  it  extended  itself  backwards  to 
the  ancient  seats  of  the  Franks,  and  the  other  German  nations  sub- 
jected to  them.  The  exertions  to  obtain  fiefs,  and  procure  appoint- 
ment for  the  services  connected  therewith  under  the  sovereign,  be- 
came increasingly  predominant,  for  thereby  was  attained  influence 
and  power;  and  to  gain  this  many  gave  up  their  freedom.  The 

*  "  Nee  ullus  muttire  coram  iis  audebat,"  says  Gregory  of  Tours. 


feudatories  took  the  name  of  liege  subjects  (fideles),  and  people 
(leudes)  of  the  prince,  or  vassals  (vassi\  whence  vasalli  is  derived. 
The  feudal  lord  was  called  senior  (whence  seigneurs),  or  dominus. 
The  name  antrustio  (confidential)  signified  the  liege  subject, 
leader  of  a  troop,  or  arimanie  of  the  escort  or  train,  in  which  quality 
he  had  to  take  a  particular  oath  of  fidelity,  and  then  stood  truste 
dominica.  Those  liege  subjects  who  stood  in  close  service  to  the 
prince  were  called  administrators. 

The  great  vassals  could  distribute  from  their  own  land  fiefs  to 
other  poorer  individuals,  who  engaged  in  their  service,  and  thus 
became  after,  or  arriere  vassals.  They  were  obliged,  with  these  their 
fideles  to  follow  the  heerbann  of  the  prince,  whilst  the  common  free- 
man, who  had  only  an  alodial  or  free  inheritance  (in  contradistinc- 
tion tofeudtim*),  was  only  obliged  to  attend  in  great  national  wars, 
and  for  which  the  heerbann,  in  the  ancient  German  sense,  was  pro- 
claimed. Noth withstanding  which,  the  feudatories  soon  began  to 
look  down  upon  the  freeman  as  upon  one  much  their  inferior,  and  to 
consider  themselves  on  the  other  hand,  as  the  nobility  of  the  nation 
— even  when  they  were  not  descended  from  the  original  nobility  of  the 
nation,  for  Gauls  were  likewise  enabled  to  receive  fiefs  ;  nay,  already, 
under  Clovis,  these  were  elevated  beyond  the  Franks  in  honours, 
for  they  more  easily  yielded  obedience  than  the  latter,  and  were 
thus  more  agreeable  to  the  king.  The  law  also  made  a  distinction 
prejudicial  to  the  free  possessor.  The  liege  subjects  (in  truste  domi- 
nica) had  a  higher  amount  of  fine-money  allowed  them ;  it  amounted 
to  three-fourths  of  that  of  the  common  freeman ;  and  even  when  the 
liege  subject  was  merely  of  Roman  descent,the  sum  was  higher  than  that 
of  the  free  Frank,  it  being  300  solidis,  whilst  that  of  the  latter  was  200. 

The  feods  originally  were  not  hereditary;  the  lord  could  with- 
draw, and  invest  others  with  them ;  but  in  the  course  of  time,  and 
particularly  under  weak  governments,  the  vassals  found  means,  in. 
one  way  or  the  other,  to  obtain  hereditary  possession,  and  make  it 
nearly  independent;  the  royal  power  being  thus  again  restricted, 
by  those  whom  it  had  previously  elevated  for  its  support.  The  ma- 
jority of  vassals  were  also  powerful  by  their  inherited  property; 
and  who  would  deprive  the  powerful  man  or  his  son  of  his  feod? 
Property  and  feods  became  mixed,  because  he  who  inherited  the 
property  inherited  also  the  feod. 

The  power  of  the  kings  was,  therefore^  not  unlimited,  and  the 
ancient  freedom  not  annihilated,  inasmuch  as  the  nation  still  parti- 
cipated in  the  decision  of  important  national  affairs.  Regular  assem- 
blies were  still  held,  and  by  the  Franks  at  first,  in  March,  afterwards 
under  Pepin  the  Little,  in  May,  whence  the  names  of  March  and  May 
plains.  But  the  greatest  difference  from  ancient  times  was  that  these 
assemblies  consisted  no  longer  of  the  majority  of  all  the  freemen,  but 
chiefly  of  feudatories,  so  that  the  nobility  gave  the  decision. 

*  The  word/ewrfzwn,  however,  does  not  present  itself  before  the  second  century. 


The  laws  of  the  German  nations  of  this  age  show  that  their  state 
was  still  very  rude.     The  punishment  of  death  was  scarcely  awarded 
to  any  crime  except  treason  and  infidelity.     The  German  regarded 
personal  liberty  so  highly,  that  he  would  not  yield  to  any  other 
the  right  to  his  life.    Murder  might  be  compounded  for  with  money 
or  goods,  and   the  compensation  obtained  by  relatives,   who,   ac- 
cording to   the  ancient  right  of  the  retribution  of  blood,   could 
have  demanded  the  blood  of  the  offender.     Accordingly,  the  in- 
jured family  possessed  the  right  of  feud  or  hostility  against  the 
other,  until  satisfaction  was  given.     Expiation  for  the  non-exercised 
family  revenge  was,  therefore,  the  original  signification  of  the  retri- 
bution or  fine-money.     The  punishment  of  death,  however,  would 
not  have  withheld  these  passionate  nations,  who  instantly  grasped 
the  sword,  and  had  but  little  fear  of  death,  from  the  momentary  sa- 
tisfaction of  revenge;  the  pecuniary  penalty  was,  on  the  contrary, 
very  high  for  that  period,  and  therefore  more  felt,  and  he  who  could 
not  pay  it  lost  his  freedom,  and  became  the  slave  of  the  offended 
party.      Many  poor  freemen  thus  lost  their  liberty  because  their 
possessions  were  esteemed  of  but  little  value,  as  for  instance,  an  ox 
by  the  Salic  laws  was  worth  two  gold  shillings,  a  cow  but  one,  a  stal- 
lion six,  and  a  mare  three ;  therefore,  an  opprobrious  word  cost  a  con- 
siderable sum,  for  he  who  called  another  a  liar  was  obliged  to  give 
him  six  shillings  or  two  oxen ;  he  who  called  him  knave  or  scoun- 
drel as  much  as  fifteen  shillings.     The  extent  of  the  punishment 
certainly  conduced  to  their  frequently  making  arrangements,  in  order 
that  they  might  not,  through  the  excitement  of  a  passionate  moment, 
involve  each  other  in  deep  misfortune.  As  each  went  armed  and  could 
always  defend  himself,  the  murder  of  a  man,  according  to  the  Alle- 
mannic  law,  was  only  half  as  heavily  punished  as  that  of  a  woman, 
who  was  defenceless.      But  theft  was  more  abhorred  than  murder, 
because  a  coward  may  also  attack  defenceless  objects.     According  to 
the  Saxon  law,  he  who  had  stolen  a  horse  was  punished  with  death, 
but  every  murder,  even  that  of  a  noble,  money  could  buy  off.     The 
highest  fines  inflicted  were,  first,  that  of  a  Bavarian  duke,   of  960 
shillings,  and  secondly,  that  of  a  bishop  of  900  shillings.     There 
was  no  fine  fixed  for  a  king,  for  his  person  was  considered  sacred  and 
unassailable.     With  the  Franks  the  fine-money  of  the  royal  Antrustio, 
if  he  was  a  Frank,  was  equal  to  that  of  a  count,  600  shillings ;  of  the 
freeman  200,  and  the  Litus  100.     For  the  Romans  it  was  fixed  at 
half  these  amounts,  in  the  same  proportion :  so  that  the  Romanus 
conviva  regis  paid  300  shillings,  the  Romanus  possessor  100,  but  the 
Romanus  tributarius  instead  of  50  paid  only  45.     Among  the  other 
nations,  according  to  their  laws,  there  were  many  variations.     Every 
corporeal  wound  was  very  precisely  fixed  by  a  money  rate ;  the  mu- 
tilation of  the  hand  for  instance  cost  100  shillings,  of  a  thumb  45 ;  the 
nose  the  same,  the  fore  finger  35,  and  any  of  the  others  15  shillings 
Judgment  was  held  under  the  open  firmament,  in  an  enclosed 
place,  called  Mallum  (Malstatte,  or  Malberg),  and  before  an  elevated 


shield.  The  judges  chosen  under  the  presidency  of  the  count 
were,  in  all  cases,  for  freemen  also  freemen  themselves,  and  called 
in  judicial  language  Rachimburgi,  or  boni  homines.  These  were 
nominated  by  counts,  usually  to  the  number  of  seven.  In  cases 
where  the  Rachimburgi  could  not  find  judgment,  the  so-called 
Sagibarones  who  were  appointed  as  especial  councillors  or  magis- 
trates, stepped  in  to  decide.  The  regular  tribunal  which  met  at  cer- 
tain fixed  periods,  was  called  mallum  legitimum.  It  was  attended 
by  the  entire  population,  and  the  whole  community  gave  its  de- 
cision and  not  the  judges  (Rachimburgi),  who  merely  found  the 
judgment.  In  the  especial  or  summoned  tribunals,  however,  at 
which  only  few  assisted  besides  the  counts  and  judges,  the  latter 
decided  at  once;  the  others  present  did  not  act  as  a  community,  but 
only  attended  as  audience,  and  as  such  had  nothing  to  say. 

To  arrive  at  the  guilt  or  innocence  of  an  accused  person  appeared 
to  the  Germans,  with  their  acute  feeling  for  the  sacredness  of  justice, 
to  be  one  of  the  most  indispensable  duties.  When,  therefore,  the 
truth  was  not  to  be  obtained  by  means  of  witnesses,  they  sought 
higher  aid,  by  having  recourse  to  the  so-called  judgments  of  God. 
The  innocence  of  the  accused  party  seemed  confirmed  if  they  re- 
mained unharmed,  upon  being  exposed  to  the  dangers  which,  in  the 
ordinary  course  of  things,  are  injurious;  if,  for  instance,  upon  expos- 
ing the  hand  or  foot  to  boiling  water  or  a  glowing  iron,  it  remained 
unmarked,  or  if  in  single  combat  he  conquered  his  opponent.  They 
had  confidence  that  God  would  not  allow  innocence  to  fall,  and  no 
doubt  in  the  single  combat,  at  least,  the  consciousness  of  innocence 
would  frequently  give  the  victory. 

Their  chief  pleasures  were  still  the  chace  and  war.  The  former 
they  loved  so  much,  and  so  highly  prized  all  that  pertained  to  it, 
that  the  Alemanni  estimated  a  stolen  lime  hound  at  twelve  shillings, 
while  a  horse  could  be  compensated  at  six,  and  a  cow  only  at  one 
shilling.  A  common  trained  hawk  was  valued  at  three,  and  one 
that  had  taken  a  stork  at  six  shillings. 

The  whole  moral  and  civil  condition  of  the  German  tribes,  in  the 
centuries  immediately  after  the  great  migration,  was  in  certain  re- 
spects worse  than  their  ancient  simple  state,  when  they  followed  the 
immediate  impulses  of  their  nature.  They  were  now  on  the  transit  from 
the  unconscious  life  of  nature  to  a  consequent  progress  in  civilization, 
and  this  period  of  a  nation  is  the  worst,  because  the  consciousness  of 
moral  dignity  begins  to  awaken  before  the  power  of  self-government 
is  present  to  subdue  the  active  impulses  of  passion. 

The  Goths,  Burgundians,  Longobardians,  and  Franks,  had,  as 
has  been  related,  much  earlier  adopted  Christianity;  in  Germany 
proper  it  made  its  appearance  a  couple  of  centuries  later.  For  al- 
though the  Allemanni,  Thuringians,  and  Bavarians,  were  subject  to 
the  Franks,  the  latter  did  not  give  themselves  much  trouble  to  dis- 
seminate the  holy  doctrines  amongst  them ;  although,  by  such  a  boon, 
they  might  have  given  them  a  compensation  for  the  loss  of  liberty. 
It  appeared  indeed  as  if  they,  who  had  adopted  Christianity  in  need 


and  in  the  tumult  of  battle,  sought  and  desired  only  to  promulgate  it 
with  the  sword.  On  the  other  hand,  the  apostles  who  planted  these  mild 
doctrines  among  the  German  forests,  came  from  distant  countries — 
from  England,  Scotland,  and  Ireland.  The  Angli  and  Saxons,  who 
had  landed  there  as  heathens,  were  slowly  converted  to  Christianity, 
not  by  force,  but  by  instruction  and  conviction.  And  it,  therefore, 
struck  so  deep  a  root  in  their  minds,  that  speedily  a  multitude  of 
inspired  and  Christian  men  travelled  from  those  countries  as  teachers 
of  the  heathens.  They  had  not  to  expect  either  rich  abbeys  or  much 
honour  and  reward  among  them,  but,  on  the  contrary,  ridicule,  con- 
tempt, want,  and  the  most  extreme  danger. 

Such  men  were  the  holy  Columban  and  Gallus,  in  the  sixth  cen- 
tury; Kilian,  Emmeran,  Rupertus,  and  Willibrod,  in  the  seventh 
and  eighth  centuries;  and,  at  last,  the  Englishman  Winefred,  who 
afterwards  received  the  honourable  name  of  Bonifacius  (the  Benefi- 
cent). He  laboured  from  the  year  718  to  755  with  inexhaustible 
courage  for  Christianity.  In  Franconia,  Thuringia,  on  the  Rhine,  and 
among  the  Saxons  and  Friesi,  his  zeal  planted  the  divine  doctrines ; 
and  whilst  he  introduced  and  established  the  Christian  worship,  so 
humanizing  to  the  manners,  he  collected  the  communities  into  villages, 
and  this  laid  a  foundation  for  towns.  For  the  strengthening  of  the 
new  faith,  he  fixed  bishoprics  here  and  there,  or  regulated  those  al- 
ready existing,  as  in  Salzburg,  Passau,  Freisingen,  Ratisbonne,  Wurtz- 
burg,  Eichstadt,  and  Erfurt ;  the  celebrated  abbey  Fulda  was  founded 
by  his  follower  Sturm,  and  at  Ohrdruf  he  planted  a  school  for  fu- 
ture teachers,  who,  according  to  the  rule  of  their  institution,  not 
only  zealously  propagated  Christianity,  but  also  the  arts  of  agricul- 
ture and  horticulture. 

In  addition  to  all  this,  he  did  not  hesitate,  although  at  great  per- 
sonal danger,  to  contend  against  the  rude  disposition  of  the  people  with 
the  force  of  his  faith.  He  overturned  their  altars,  and  cut  down  their 
sacred  trees,  beneath  which  they  sacrificed  to  their  gods.  One  among 
these,  at  Geissmar  in  Hessia,  was  particularly  celebrated;  but  Boni- 
face himself  seized  the  axe  and  helped  to  hew  it  down.  The  sur- 
rounding heathens  firmly  believed  that  the  god  who  dwelt  in  the 
tree  would  speedily  come  forth  with  fire,  and  consume  the  culprit 
and  all  his  companions.  But  the  tree  fell  without  the  fire  coming, 
and  with  it  dropped  their  former  confidence  in  their  god. 

But  Boniface  complained  even  more  of  the  bad  Christian  priests 
themselves,  whom  he  found  among  the  Franks,  than  of  the  savage- 
ness  of  the  heathens.  They  lived  in  all  kinds  of  vice,  and  made  no 
conscience  of  sacrificing  to  the  false  gods,  as  well  as  to  baptise  howso- 
ever was  required  from  them  for  the  money  offered  for  so  doing.  And 
even  the  best  among  them  took  as  much  delight  in  arms  and  the  chace 
as  in  the  duties  of  their  spiritual  office:  "  Religion  has  now  been 
prostrated  full  sixty  or  seventy  years,"  says  he  in  an  epistle  to  Pope 
Zacharias;  "  and  the  Franks  for  more  than  eighty  years  have  had 
neither  an  assembly  in  council  of  the  church  nor  an  archbishop.  The 


"bishoprics  are  in  the  hands  chiefly  of  greedy  laymen  or  criminal  church- 
men, who  perceive  profit  in  nothing  but  temporalities."  Thence  one  of 
his  chief  cares  was,  that  councils  should  be  held  by  the  Franconian 
clergy  to  restore  good  morals  and  the  ancient  church  discipline,  and 
that  the  clergy  should  participate  in  the  assemblies  of  the  March 
plains  (Martii  Campi),  that  the  weal  of  the  church  might  also  be 
there  taken  into  consideration;  and  towards  this  he  accomplished 
much,  for  which  he  made  himself  greatly  distinguished. 

In  the  year  746,  Boniface  was  made  archbishop  of  Mentz,  and  as 
such  he  stood  at  the  head  of  the  East-Franconian  clergy,  which  he 
accustomed  to  unconditional  obedience  towards  the  Roman  bishop, 
who  now  as  pope  stood  incontestedly  at  the  head  of  the  western 
church.  Boniface,  however,  would  not  remain  inactive  and  pass  his 
later  years  in  quiet,  for  the  conversion  of  the  heathens  was  now,  as 
formerly,  still  the  labour  and  aim  of  his  life ;  and  at  last  his  zeal  was 
rewarded  with  the  martyr's  fate.  Upon  his  return  to  the  Friesi, 
in  order  solemnly  to  consecrate  some  newly-baptized  Christians,  he 
was  fallen  iipon  by  a  troop  of  barbarians,  who  expected  to  gain 
booty  from  him.  His  servants  seized  their  arms  to  repel  the  attack; 
he,  however,  forbade  them  to  shed  blood,  and  was  therefore  at  once 
murdered  with  all  his  companions  by  the  furious  band. 

The  religious  foundations,  churches,  and  cloisters  which  Boniface 
and  others  built  in  Germany,  became  not  only  the  sparks  whence 
the  light  of  religion  and  intellectual  cultivation  proceeded,  but  many 
of  them  formed  also  the  nucleus  of  new  towns  and  villages  which, 
by  degrees,  arose  around  them.  Not  only  the  bondsmen  built  their 
huts  close  to  them,  but  others  also  sought  the  protection  of  their 
walls,  and  merchants  and  traders  proceeded  thither  in  the  hopes  of 
making  profit  from  the  multitude  of  strangers  who  flocked  there  for 
the  sake  of  worship.  The  name  of  the  festival,  Kirchmesse  or 
Church  wake,  derived  thence  its  origin. 

The  kingdom  of  the  Franks  was  divided  into  two  great  portions, 
Neustria  and  Austrasia,  or  the  Western  and  Eastern  kingdoms;  and 
the  former  was  again  frequently  divided  into  several  parts.  In  the 
Western  kingdom,  the  Roman  manners  and  language  maintained 
the  superiority;  but  in  the  East  those  of  the  Germans  were  pre- 
dominant. Both  nations  were  frequently  at  war  and  discontented 
with  each  other. 

In  the  year  613,  Clothaire  II.  once  again  united  the  two  divisions 
of  the  kingdom,  but  soon  afterwards  resigned  that  of  Austrasia  into 
the  hands  of  his  son  Dagobert,  who,  on  the  death  of  his  father  in 
the  year  628,  again  combined  the  whole  together.  Under  these  two 
governments,  which  may  be  included  in  the  series  as  the  most  happy, 
the  kingdom  became  strengthened,  and  the  internal  relations,  by  the 
exertions  of  Arnolph,  bishop  of  Metz,  and  the  great  chamberlain  or 
prime  minister,  Pepin  of  Landen  (Grandfather  of  Pepin  of  Heris- 
tal),  were  greatly  improved,  and  rendered  more  perfect  and  settled. 

The  judicial  system  now  assumed  more  of  the  Christian  character; 


for,  according  to  the  original  pagan  law,  every  act  of  murder,  with 
the  exception  of  that  committed  against  the  king,  could  be  com- 
pounded for  with  money  and  land,  whereas  now  it  was  decreed  that 
each  premeditated  murder  should  be  punished  with  death.  The 
clergy  likewise  were  placed  upon  a  more  elevated  and  distinct  foot- 
ing, and  which,  indeed,  was  extremely  necessary  and  desirable,  so 
that  Christianity  might  not  again  sink  and  fall  into  neglect.  In 
order  that  the  bishops  should,  as  far  as  possible,  consist  of  the  most 
worthy  men,  the  ecclesiastics  received,  with  the  co-operation  of  the 
people,  the  right  of  election  (clerus  cum  populo).  The  jurisdiction 
of  the  clergy  was  likewise,  at  the  great  synod  of  Paris  in  614,  esta- 
blished upon  a  more  firm  and  secure  basis;  and  at  the  grand  con- 
ferences, its  influence  became  more  important,  inasmuch  as  they  ap- 
peared there  almost  alone  with  the  great  vassals  or  higher  officers  of 
the  crown.  The  ancient  assemblies  of  the  people  had,  under  Clovis, 
entirely  ceased  to  exist. 

Dagobert  resided  chiefly  in  Paris.  We  find  that  under  him  con- 
tinual w^ars  were  carried  on  between  the  Franks  and  Slavi,  which 
produced  against  them  a  friendly  league  between  the  Franks  and 
Saxons.  Dagobert  released  the  Saxons  from  their  tribute  of  five  hun- 
dred cows. 

After  the  death  of  Dagobert  in  637,  the  decline  of  the  Merovin- 
gian dynasty  commenced  anew,  and  we  find  seven  kings  ruled  like 
puppets  by  guardians,  acting  as  prime  ministers  or  mayors  of  the 
palace,  thus  producing  the  complete  fall  of  the  race.  These  mayors 
got  the  entire  sway  of  the  kingdom.  Originally,  the  major-domus 
was  only  steward ;  he  stood  at  the  head  of  the  royal  house  and  of  the 
royal  people  (Leudes),  and  was  leader  of  the  feudal  retinue  in  war, 
next  to  the  king.  The  heerbann  of  free-men  was  not  under  him. 
But  when  the  retinue  obtained,  by  degrees,  the  precedence,  and  be- 
came properly  the  state,  the  heerbann  fell  into  disuse,  and  the  inde- 
pendent freemen  becoming  reduced  in  number,  the  grand  steward  then 
rose  to  be  effectually  the  first  officer  of  the  kingdom,  and  under  weak 
kings  was  their  ruler.  When  a  war  was  to  be  conducted,  the  grand 
steward  placed  himself  at  the  head  of  the  troops,  and  showed  him- 
self prepared  for  warlike  feats;  in  peace  also,  he  exercised  the  pri- 
vilege of  mercy,  disposed  of  offices,  distributed  vacant  sinecures,  and 
left  to  the  king  merely  the  honour  of  his  name  and  that  of  the  crown, 
and  the  indulgence  of  his  sensuality  in  the  inner  apartments  of  the 
palace.  It  was  only  at  the  March  assembly  that  the  king  appeared 
personally  amidst  his  people.  There  he  sat  publicly  upon  the  seat  of 
his  ancestors,  greeted  his  nobles,  and  was  saluted  in  return  by  them ; 
he  received  the  presents  brought  by  the  nation,  and  handed  them  over 
to  the  grand  chamberlain  or  steward  standing  beside  the  throne,  distri- 
buting, according  to  his  recommendation,  the  vacant  places,  and  con- 
firming those  he  had  already  disposed  of.  He  then  mounted  his  chariot, 
which,  according  to  ancient  custom,  was  drawn  by  four  oxen,  drove 
to  his  palace,  and  remained  there  until  the  following  March  assembly. 


Such  was  the  condition  of  the  great  conqueror  Clovis's  de- 
scendants, before  two  hundred  years  had  passed  since  his  death. 
About  the  year  700,  the  grand  steward  over  the  whole  kingdom  of 
the  Franks,  Neustria,  as  well  as  Austrasia,  was  Pepin  of  Heristal 
(near  Liege);  a  very  careful  and  prudent  man,  who  restored  order  and 
justice,  held  the  old  March  assemblies  regularly,  and  won  so  much  the 
love  and  confidence  of  the  people,  by  restoring  in  this  manner  their 
rights  against  the  encroachments  of  the  hordes,  that  he  was  en- 
abled to  make  the  office  hereditary  to  his  family.  His  son,  Charles 
Martel,  who  was  grand  steward  after  him,  saved  the  whole  of  Chris- 
tianity at  this  moment  from  a  great  impending  danger. 

A  savage  horde  had  arrived  from  the  south,  and  had  in  a  short  time 
traversed  extensive  tracts  with  fire  and  sword,  and  subjected  all  to  their 
dominion.  No  nation  could  set  limits  to  them,  their  arm  was  irresisti- 
ble, and  struck  their  opponents  like  lightning.  These  strangers  were 
the  Arabs;  they  came  from  Asia,  and  they  derived  their  great  power 
from  the  new  faith.  For  he  whom  they  called  their  prophet,  Ma- 
homet, had  announced  to  them  much  from  the  doctrines  of  Moses 
and  of  our  Saviour ;  besides  which  he  promised  to  this  people,  who 
were  addicted  to  sensual  pleasures  beyond  every  thing,  great  re- 
wards and  an  ever-during  bliss  in  Paradise,  if  they  fought  zealously 
for  their  new  faith,  and  extended  it  over  all  countries.  Mahomet 
lived  about  the  year  622.  They  had  now  rapidly  conquered  several 
lands  in  Asia  and  Africa,  and  in  less  than  a  hundred  years  after  the 
death  of  Mahomet,  in  the  year  711,  they  had  already  crossed  the 
Straits  of  Gibraltar  to  Spain.  Roderic,  king  of  the  West  Goths, 
who  ruled  in  Spain,  opposed  them  near  Xeres  de  la  Frontera;  he 
strove  for  his  crown,  for  the  freedom  and  religion  of  the  West 
Goths ;  long  and  severe  was  the  battle.  Roderic  fought  heroically, 
until  a  treacherous  count,  who  called  the  Arabs  across  the  straits, 
passed  over  to  the  enemy.  The  king  then  fell,  and  with  him  the 
flower  of  his  army.  The  kingdom  of  the  West  Goths  was  subjected 
to  the  Arabs,  and  they  soon  ruled  from  the  sea  to  the  Pyrenees,  so 
that  only  a  very  small  spot  to  the  north-west  of  Spain,  in  the  moun- 
tains of  Gallicia,  remained  a  free  possession  in  the  hands  of  the 

After  the  Arabs  had  conquered  Spain,  they  cast  their  eyes  upon 
France,  and,  crossing  the  Pyrenees,  fell  upon  that  country.  At  the 
same  time  they  showed  themselves  below  Constantinople  with  a  large 
army  and  a  fleet:  so  that  they  embraced  the  whole  of  Europe  from 
east  to  west,  determined  upon  conquering  it  and  extinguishing  Chris- 
tianity. And  had  they  obtained  the  victory  on  both  sides  they  would 
have  advanced  still  farther,  and  the  two  great  armies  would  have  met 
and  united  in  Germany  and  have  completed  the  work.  But  Pro- 
vidence had  determined  otherwise.  The  city  of  Constantinople  held 
firm  against  the  attack,  with  its  strong  walls  and  Greek  fire,  which 
the  inhabitants  used  against  the  ships  of  their  enemy.  But  in  France 
they  were  opposed  by  the  powerful  hero  Charles  Martel,  the  son  of 


Pepin ;  he  was  called  Martel  or  the  hammer,  because  by  his  bravery 
he  struck  his  enemies  down,  as  it  were,  like  a  hammer.  With  his 
Franks  he  crossed  the  river  Loire  to  meet  the  enemy,  and  came  upon 
them  between  the  cities  of  Tours  and  Poitiers,  where  a  wide  plain 
spread  itself  out.  The  battle  here  took  place  on  a  Saturday  in  October, 
in  the  year  732.  Close  and  impassable,  and  covered  with  an  advanced 
wall  of  shields,  the  Franks  stood  immoveable,  and  endured  their  first 
violent  attack,  for  this  was  always  the  most  furious.  The  Franks, 
however,  then  suddenly  broke  forth,  precipitated  themselves  upon  the 
Arabs,  repulsed  them,  and  it  is  said  that  more  than  300,000  fell,  to- 
gether with  their  general,  Abderachman,  slaughtered  by  the  swords 
of  the  Franks.  Those  who  remained  fled  towards  southern  France, 
whence  Charles  soon  drove  them  forth,  and  placed  for  ever  a  boundary 
against  them  on  this  side.  Charles,  who,  for  this  deed,  was  highly 
honoured  throughout  all  countries,  died  in  the  year  741. 

His  son  was  called  Pepin  the  Little,  or  the  Short;  he  was  also 
grand  steward  until  752,  and  ruled  the  kingdom  according  to  his 
pleasure  but  with  wisdom  and  justice,  whilst  king  Childeric  III., 
sat  in  his  palace  like  a  shadow,  and  took  not  the  least  care  of  his 
government.  When  Pepin  saw  the  disposition  of  the  Franks  favour- 
able to  him,  he  caused  an  assembly  of  them  to  take  place  in  the 
year  751,  when  it  was  determined  to  send  an  embassy  to  Rome, 
with  this  question:  "Is  he  justly  called  king  who  has  the  royal 
power  in  his  hands,  or  he  who  merely  bears  the  name?"  To  which 
pope  Zacharias  replied,  "  He  must  also  be  called  king,  who  possesses 
the  royal  power." 

The  holy  Boniface  had  accustomed  the  Franks,  in  certain  cases  of 
conscience,  to  apply  to  the  pope  for  advice  as  their  spiritual  father, 
and  the  papal  reply  is  to  be  regarded  as  counsel  and  opinion,  as  an 
answer  to  such  a  question,  but  not  as  a  deposal  of  king  Childeric,  by 
virtue  of  the  power  existing  in  the  pope.  Upon  this,  the  Franks 
assembled  again  at  Soissons,  and  took  the  crown  from  Childeric,  the 
last  of  the  Merovingians,  cut  off  his  long  hair,  the  mark  of  honour 
with  the  Frankish  kings,  and  had  him  removed  to  a  cloister, 
there  to  end  his  days;  whilst  Pepin,  the  son  of  Charles  Martel,  and 
grandson  of  Pepin  of  Heristal,  was  in  the  year  752  solemnly  anointed 
and  crowned  king  of  the  Franks  by  the  archbishop  Boniface,  266 
years  after  Clovis  the  Merovingian  had,  by  his  victory  over  Sya- 
grius,  upon  this  same  field  of  Soissons,  first  founded  the  kingdom. 
t"  Pepin  by  his  courage  and  wisdom  augmented  the  power  of  his 
nation.  At  this  time,  in  753,  pope  Stephen  crossed  the  Alps  (he 
being  the  first  pope  who  since  the  foundation  of  the  church  had 
undertaken  this  journey)  to  demand  the  assistance  of  Pepin  against 
the  Longobardian  king  Aistulph,  who  had  conquered  Ravenna, 
and  demanded  tribute  and  submission  from  the  pope.  Pepin  pro- 
mised him  aid,  and  retained  him  through  the  winter  at  his  court  in 
Minister.  Here  the  pope  repeated  the  anointment  of  the  king,  as 
already  performed  by  the  holy  Boniface,  anointing  also  his  two  sons, 


Carloman  and  Charles  (after  he  had  himself  lifted  the  latter,  then 
twelve  years  old,  from  the  font),  and  then  presented  to  the  Franks 
these  members  of  the  newly-created  dynasty  as  alone  legitimate.  In 
the  spring  of  the  year  754  the  king  advanced  against  Italy,  defeated 
Aistulph  at  Susa,  re-conquered  Kavenna,  with  the  surrounding 
country,  which  had  previously  belonged  to  the  Greek  emperors,  and 
presented  it  to  the  pope.  This  formed  the  beginning  of  the  papal 

Pepin  died  in  768,  in  the  fifty-fourth  year  of  his  age,  and  the 
Franks  mourned  his  death  as  much  as  if  he  had  sprung  from  the 
ancient  royal  race.  In  stature  he  was  short,  but  very  strong.  It  is 
related  of  him,  that  once,  upon  the  occasion  of  a  combat  of  wild 
beasts,  some  one  jested  about  his  size,  upon  which  he  stepped  into 
the  arena,  drew  his  sword,  and  with  one  blow  struck  off  the  head  of 
a  lion:  "  I  am  not  tall,"  said  he,  "  but  my  arm  is  strong !" 

His  sons,  Charles  and  Carloman,  were  elected  kings  by  the  nation 
of  the  Franks,  in  a  solemn  assembly,  and  regularly  divided  the 
kingdom  between  them. 





THE  events  of  the  reign  of  Charlemagne  called  forth  the  energy  of  the  historical 

1.  The  annals  and  chronicles,  of  which  mention  has  been  made  previously,  became 
augmented,  and  proved  for  this  period  more  and  more  important;  whilst  education, 
so  much  promoted  by  Charlemagne,  is  therein  displayed  both  in  the  language  and 
treatment  of  the  subject. 

2.  In  reference  to  the  history  of  Charlemagne,  the  works  of  Einhard  or  Eginhard 
will  always  remain  the  most  important,  being  written  by  a  man  who  was  in  imme- 
diate communication  with  that  sovereign.     His  "Annales,"  from  741 — 829,  treat 
more  particularly  of  this  period  than  the  continuation  of  the  "  Annal  Laurissenses," 
before  mentioned.     The  "  Vita  Caroli  Magni,"  after  giving  a  brief  account  of  the 
wars  of  Charlemagne,  describes  especially  every  other  particular  connected  with  his 
life  and  its  events;  and  must  be  read  by  all  with  pleasure.    In  addition  to  this  we 
possess  also  his  letters. 

3.  Theganus,  bishop  of  Treves,  who  died  in  848,  wrote  the  life  of  Louis  the  pious, 
— "  De  gestis  Ludovici  pii" — certainly  not  very  impartially,  and  rather  too  briefly, 
yet  written  with  sincerity  and  exact  information. 

4.  The  "  Vita  Hludo  vici  Pii  auctore  anonymo,"  is  much  more  complete,  written 
by  a  member  of  the  emperor's  household;  this  is  rich  in  facts,  and  is  expressed  with 

5.  Equally  important  is  the  poetical  representation  of  a  contemporary,  Ermoldus 
Nigellus,  in  his  elegiac  poem,  "  in  honorem  Hludovici  Caesaris." 

6.  Nithard,  grandson  of  the  emperor,  who  died  in  858,  describes  most  completely 
the  disputes  among  the  sons  of  Louis,  in  his  "  IV  Libris  de  dissensionibus  fillorum 
Ludovici  Pii;"  he  shows  himself  to  be  decidedly  on  the  side  of  Charles  the  Bald. 

7.  The  "  Vita  Sti- Anskarii,"  by  Rimbert,  Archbishop  of  Hamburg,  written  under 
Louis  the  German,  treats  more  especially  upon  the  North  German  relations. 

8.  Enhard's  and  Rudolphus's  "  Annals  of  Fulda,"  and  their  continuators,  are,  after 
the  conclusion  of  Einhard,  very  important  in  German  history.    In  his  work, 
Rudolphus   gives  a  very  interesting  description  of  the  Saxons;  he  is  the  only 
writer  who  was  acquainted  with  the  writings  of  Tacitus,  and  from  the  latter's 
Germania  he  has  quoted  several  chapters  literally.    With  respect  to  the  western 
moiety  of  the  Frankish  kingdom,  the  "  Annales  Bertiniani"  (so  called  from  the 
Abbey  St.  Bertinbei  Gent)  of  822,  give  the  best  information.     The  last  moiety  was 
perhaps  written  by  the  celebrated  Archbishop  Hincmar  of  Rheims. 

9.  A  monk  of  St.  Gallen,  Manachus  Sangallensis,  has  described  in  two  books  "  de 
Gestis   Car.  Magni,"  the  life  of  the  emperor  in  a  peculiar  fashion,  according  to 
communications  received  and  popular  legends,  mostly  without  historical  fidelity,  but 
still  not  without  grace. 

10.  Abbo,  a  monk  of  St.  Germain,  was  present  at  the  siege  of  Paris  by  the  Nor- 
mans in  885,  and  has  described  the  events  of  that  period  in  a  poem,  "  de  bellis  Parii- 
acis,"  in  a  very  animated  style. 

11.  The  so-called  Poeta  SaxoC900),  has  rendered  into  verse  what  Einhards  Annals 
relate  of  the  emperor,  and  has  partly  succeeded  in  his  work,  although  he  can  never, 
or  but  rarely  be  used  as  a  reference. 

12.  The  Chronicles  of  the  Abbot  Regino,  who  died  in  915,  and  which  extend  to  the 
year  907,  are  very  important  for  the  latter  period  of  the  Carolingians. 

13.  The  letters  of  the  popes,  sovereigns,  princes,  &c.,  of  this  period  are  also  very 
important,  particularly  those  which  are  contained  in  the  Codex  Carolinus ;  likewise 
the  letters  and  works  of  Alcuin,  as  also  the  letters  of  Servatus  Lupus,  Eginhard's 
friend,  and  Hincmar,  archbishop  of  Rheims. 

14.  Finally,  it  is  quite  certain  that  the  "  Capitularia  Regum  Francorum,"  the 
laws  of  the  realm,  and  general  decrees  of  the  kings,  form  a  principal  source  of  re- 
ference for  our  history.    They  were  collected  by  Baluzius,  and  have  been  recently 
published  by  Pertz,  in  the  third  volume  of  the  "  Monumenta," 




Charlemagne,  768 — 814 — The  state  in  which  Charlemagne  found  the  Empire — 
The  East-Roman  or  Grecian  Empire — England — The  North  of  Europe — The 
Spanish  Peninsula — Italy — Austria  and  Hungary — Germany — The  Wars  of 
Charlemagne — The  Saxons — The  Longobardi — The  Arabs — The  Bavarians — 
The  Empire  of  Charlemagne — Charlemagne,  Emperor  of  Rome,  800 — The  Death 
of  Charlemagne,  814 — His  Portraiture. 

IT  has  been  the  fate  of  Charlemagne,  as  well  as  the  majority  of 
extraordinary  historical  characters,  to  be  subjected  to  the  ordeal  of 
a  very  different,  and  frequently  a  very  opposite  criticism.  By  many 
he  has  been  classed  with  the  noblest  heroes  and  sages  of  the  human 
race,  by  some,  however,  he  has  been  rejected  as  a  blood-thirsty  ty- 
rant, whose  whole  object  and  desire  was  war  and  destruction.  It  is 
true  that  he  led  his  armies  from  one  end  of  his  extensive  empire  to 
the  other  in  constant  warlike  expeditions,  and  subjected  many  nations 
by  force  of  arms  to  his  dominion,  thus  giving  Europe  an  entirely 
different  form.  The  question  therefore  to  be  solved  is,  whether  his- 
tory shall  bless  or  curse  him  for  these  extraordinary  deeds. 

A  false  judgment  must  necessarily  be  passed  upon  great  men  and 
the  great  events  of  nations,  by  those  who  cannot  transport  themselves 
from  their  own  times  back  into  those  whereof  the  picture  is  to  be  drawn. 
In  periods  when  society  is  in  a  ferment,  and  barbarism  and  civilisa- 
tion are  in  contest  with  each  other;  when  from  the  existing  compo- 
nent parts  something  new  and  great  is  to  germinate,  towards  which 
the  tranquil  course  of  things,  as  handed  down  will  not  suffice — 
Providence  sends  forth  mighty  individuals,  who  are  destined  to  lead 
a  whole  age  many  steps  onward  in  its  development,  and,  according 
to  the  object  which  they  are  to  accomplish,  it  furnishes  them  with 
adequate  vigour  of  intellect  and  strength  of  will.  But  because  such 
chosen  spirits  do  not  follow  the  beaten  track,  and  because,  perhaps, 
whilst  their  eye  is  fixed  upon  the  distant  mountain  summit,  many  a 
flower  is  crushed  beneath  their  feet,  and  they  in  the  impatient 
struggle,  which  in  the  short  space  of  the  life  of  one  man  is  to  deter- 
mine the  plan  of  the  course  of  centuries,  wound  unconsciously  many 
a  sacred  right;  the  easy,  indolent  spirit  of  the  lover  of  repose, 
therefore,  to  which  the  sanctity  of  rights  forms  the  foundation-stone 
of  life,  is  loud  in  execration  against  the  vessel  in  which  was  compressed 
such  gigantic,  mighty  powers,  and  the  judgment  thence  pronounced 
is  frequently  severe  and  unjust.  But  who  shall  censure  the  mountain 
stream  because  it  flows  not  like  the  meadowy  brook,  but  drags  forth 
even  stones  and  trees,  bearing  them  onwards  with  it  in  its  course  ?  It 
is  true  it  tears  forth  by  the  roots  the  decayed  and  rotten  stems,  but 
thereby  the  light  of  heaven  is  opened  to  cheer  the  progress  of  the 
more  young  and  tender  plants. 



Let  this,  however,  by  no  means  be  considered  as  an  apology  for  the 
violence  of  tyrannical  rulers,  whose  actions'flow  from  an  impure  source. 
Man  is  a  free  agent,  and  presents  himself  as  the  ready  instrument 
of  Providence  in  its  great  plans.  The  manner  in  which  he  executes 
his  office  depends  upon  himself,  and  either  justifies  or  condemns  him. 
It  is  not  the  great  deeds  he  has  performed,  nor  the  thousands  who 
have  bled  in  battle,  whilst  others  in  the  intoxication  of  victory  have 
profanely  worshipped  him,  that  decide  upon  his  merits  or  demerits, 
but  it  is  the  object  by  which  he  was  governed,  and  the  purpose  for 
which  he  accomplished  his  extraordinary  plans :  whether  he  has  been 

fuided  by  great  thoughts  towards  a  worthy  and  noble  end,  or  only 
y  his  own  pride,  his  ambition,  'and  vanity,  or  to  speak  figuratively, 
whether  in  the  mirror  of  his  life  the,  infinite  creation  and  its  worlds, 
or  only  his  own  proud  image  be  reflected.  This  may  be  observed  from 
many  signs,  but  it  is  especially  to  be  recognised  therein,  viz.,  when  he 
has  revered  the  dignity  of  humanity  as  a  sacred  object,  even  in  its 
details,  or  not  observing  or  acknowledging  it,  but  despising  men,  he 
has  merely  used  them  as  instruments  to  his  purposes. 

This  should  be  our  rule  of  judgment,  in  order  that  we  may  not 
allow  ourselves  on  the  one  side  to  bestow  admiration  upon  mere 
power  without  intrinsic  goodness,  nor  on  the  other  to  prejudge  un- 
justly all  those  names  which  are  inscribed  in  the  volume,  too  fre- 
quently perhaps  in  characters  of  blood  and  fire. 

The  work  of  a  great  man  derives  its  proper  light  from  the  condi- 
tion of  the  world  when  he  appeared  upon  the  stage;  it  is  therefore 
necessary  to  take  a  short  review  of  the  state  of  Europe  at  the  time 
Charles  attained  the  empire. 

1.  The  East-Roman,  or  Greek  empire,  still  existed;  but  only  in  the 
strange  mixture  of  old  and  new  relations,  of  splendour  and  misery,  of 
presumption  and  weakness,  as  it  had  existed  for  a  thousand  years — 
in  the  history  of  the  world  a  riddle.     For  it  is  scarcely  to  be  con- 
ceived how  the  mere  shadow  of  an  ancient,  great,  and  splendid  state, 
or  as  it  were  the  gaudily-decorated  corpse  of  antiquity,  as  that  empire 
has  been  happily  called,  should  have  preserved  itself  so  long  without  in- 
ternal life.    The  change  of  rulers  and  the  inconstancy  of  all  conditions 
were  so  great,  that  for  an  emperor  of  Constantinople  no  title  was  more 
flattering  than  being  styled,  "  the  imperial  son  of  a  father  born  in  the 
purple  robe"  (porphyrogenitus  porphyrogeniti).    For  the  throne  came 
by  turns  to  men  who  had  been  born  among  the  dregs  of  society,  and  who 
owed  their  elevation  to  some  crime.     To  Charlemagne  this  distant 
and  extensive,  but  wealthy  empire,  could  not  be  immediately  either 
an  object  of  dread  or  ambition.     He  maintained  friendship  with  the 
Greek  emperors,  and  they  mutually  honoured  each  other  with  em- 
bassies and  presents,  for  it  was  desirable  to  the  Greeks  to  be  upon 
good  terms  with  him.     "  Retain  the  Frank  for  thy  friend,  but  pre- 
vent him  from  being  thy  neighbour,"  was  an  established  proverb 
among  the  Greeks. 

2.  England,  at  the  commencement  of  Charlemagne's  reign,  was 


still  divided  among  several  Anglo-Saxon  kings,  and  formed  a  se- 
cluded world  of  its  own,  without  possessing  any  influence  upon  the 
nations  of  the  continent.  Charlemagne's  name,  however,  was  speed- 
ily known  and  highly  esteemed.  One  of  his  most  confidential  friends, 
Alcuin,  was  an  Englishman,  and  by  his  means  he  often  caused  the 
princes  there  to  be  written  to,  and  persuaded  them  to  be  united  and 
repel  the  attacks  of  the  valiant  Danes.  Even  the  Thanes,  or  petty 
kings  of  Scotland,  called  him  no  otherwise  than  their  lord. 

3.  The  north  of  Europe  was  still  but  little  known.     It  is  true  it 
•was  the  cradle  of  valiant  men,  who  knew  how  to  wield  the  iron  of 
their  soil  with  a  powerful  arm,  and  who,  after  the  reign  of  Charle- 
magne, by  their  maritime  expeditions  gained  themselves  a  terrific 
name  upon  all  the  coasts  of  Europe.     They  were  yet,  however,  with- 
out importance  to  the  Frankish  empire.     Nevertheless,  with  his  com- 
prehensive mind,  Charlemagne  perceived  the  danger  which  threa- 
tened from  them.     It  is  related  that  being  once  at  a  seaport,  (it  is 
said  at  Narbonne,)  some  ships  approached  the  coast  but  their  crews 
were  not  known.     Charlemagne's  quick  eye  detected  them  to  be 
Norman  pirates  by  their  shape  and  rapid  motions.     They  hastily  re- 
tired when  they  heard  that  the  great  emperor  was  there.     After  they 
had  disappeared  he  turned  sorrowfully  from  the  window,  shed  tears, 
and  at  last  said  to  those  around  him,  "  You  would  fain  know,  my 
friends,  why  I  wept?     Not  from  fear,  no!  but  it  vexes  me  that, 
during  my  life,  they  have  ventured  to  this  shore,  and  with  grief 
do  I  foresee,  alas !  the  mischief  they  will  bring  to  my  successors." 

4.  The  Spanish  Peninsula  was  subjected  to  the  Arabians  with  the 
exception  of  some  Westro-Gothic  places  among  the  mountains,  but 
their  religious  zeal  had  already  cooled,  and  their  power  was  tamed  by 
internal  dissensions.     Charlemagne's  grandfather  had  deterred  them 
from  the  conquest  of  Europe,  and  they  thought  only  of  maintaining 
their  own  existence  in  Spain.     But  Charlemagne  could  not  behold 
with  indifference  the  enemies  of  the  Christian  name  as  his  neighbours. 

5.  Italy  was  divided  into  three  dominions,  the  Longobardian  in 
upper  and  a  portion  of  lower  Italy;  the  Grecian  in  lower  Italy  and 
Sicily;   and  the  Roman  in  middle  Italy.     Rome  was  in  a  mixed 
state,  for  the  power  was  divided  between  the  Pope,  the  senate,  and 
the  people,  but  the  pope  daily  acquired  more  importance.     The  su- 
perior protective  dominion  of  the  city  had  passed  from  the  Greek 
emperors  to  the  kings  of  the  Franks,  for  Pope  Stephen,  in  the  name 
of  the  Roman  senate  and  people,  had,  in  the  year  754,  conveyed  the 
dignity  of  a  Roman  Patrician  to  King  Pepin  and  his  sons.     Between 
the  Romans  and  the  Longobards  there  arose  a  bitter  hatred  and  im- 
placable enmity,  which  were  the  immediate  cause  of  Charlemagne 
interfering  in  the  affairs  of  Italy.     He  had,  indeed,  endeavoured  to 
remove  the  ancient  jealousy  which  prevailed  between  the  Franks  and 
the  Longobards  by  marrying  the  daughter  of  King  Desiderius,  but 
upon  this  occasion  Pope  Stephen  wrote  to  him  thus :  "  What  madness 
in  the  most  excellent  son  of  a  great  king  to  sully  his  noble  Frankish 



race  by  an  alliance  with  that  most  faithless  and  most  fulsome  nation, 
the  Longobardi,  who  should  not  be  named  among  the  multitude 
of  nations,  and  from  whom  doubtlessly  the  race  of  lepers  had  their 
origin.  What  community  of  feeling  has  light  with  darkness,  or  a 
believer  with  an  unbeliever."  The  Longobards  richly  returned  this 
hatred  of  the  Romans;  one  of  their  bishops  says  of  them:  "  Under 
the  name  of  a  Roman  we  comprehend  all  that  is  mean,  cowardly, 
avaricious,  and  lying,  nay,  even  all  vices  combined."  Charlemagne's 
union  with  the  royal  house  of  the  Longobards  was  not  durable,  for 
two  years  afterwards  he  sent  back  the  daughter  of  King  Desiderius; 
whether  it  arose  from  the  ill-will  of  the  pope  to  this  marriage,  or 
whether  other  unknown  reasons  urged  him  we  cannot  say,  but  we 
shall  speedily  see  that  greater  causes  arose  for  the  enmity  between 

6.  To  the  south-east  of  Charles's  possessions  in  Austria  and  Hungary  r 
dwelt  the  Avari,  a  Mongolian  nation  from  Asia,  which  had  long 
warred  with  and  plundered  the  provinces  of  the  eastern  empire,  but 
now  quietly  but  anxiously  guarded  the  treasures  amassed  during  two 
centuries.    These  lay  heaped  up  in  nine  particular  places,  surrounded 
by  walls  and  ditches,  and  which  were  called  circles,  appearing  to 
invite,  as  it  were,  every  one  to  retake  them  from  their  possessors, 
who  themselves  did  not  know  how  to  enjoy  them. 

7.  The  remaining  portion  of  the  eastern  German  borders  was  oc- 
cupied by  the  different  branches  of  the   Slavonians  and  Vandals, 
rude  nations  of  a  less  noble,  natural  disposition  than  the  Germans. 
In  Germany  they  possessed  Holstein,  Mecklenburg,  Brandenburg, 
Pomerania,  a  portion  of  Saxony,  the  Lausitz,  Silesia,  Bohemia,  and 
Moravia.     In  Holstein  were  the  Wagrians;    in  Mecklenburg,  the 
Obotriti ;  in  a  portion  of  Brandenburg,  the  Wilzen ;  in  another  part 
the  Hevellers  and  Ukerns;  the  Pomeranians  in  the  province  which 
has  received  their  name — collective  branches  of  the  Vandals.     In 
the  district  of  Meissen,  the  Sclav onian  Sorbi;  in  Lausitz,  the  Lau- 
sitzers ;  in  Bohemia,  the  Ezechi ;  and  the  Moravians  in  Moravia. 

8.  In  Germany  itself  Charlemagne  found  greater  tranquillity.   The 
Septs,  who  had  been  subjected  to  the  Franks,  the  Allemanni,  Ba- 
varians, and  Thuringians  had  by  degrees  accustomed  themselves  to 
the  foreign  dominion,  which  was  not  only  not  oppressive,  but  had 
even  left  them  their  manners,  laws,  and  peculiar  customs.     But  with 
the  exception  of  the  Bavarians,  they  were  no  longer  ruled  according 
to  ancient  custom  by  their  own  dukes,  but  according  to  the  Frankish 
institutions,  by  counts  without  hereditary  power  in  distinct  districts. 
Thence  they  wanted  a  central  point  of  union,  and  the  ancient  love 
of  independence  survived  most  firmly  among  the  Bavarians  alone. 
The  bishops  in  all  these  provinces  were  very  much  attached  to  the 
Carlovingian  dynasty. 

But  on  the  borders  of  his  empire,  in  the  north  of  Germany,  dwelt 
neighbours  who  offered  the  first  object  for  the  trial  of  his  strength, 
namely,  the  Saxons,  unconquered  and  free,  fixed  in  their  boundaries 


from  the  German  Ocean  to  Thuringia,  and  from  the  Elbe  to  the 
vicinity  of  the  Rhine.  Whilst  among  the  Franks,  the  old  German 
institutions  had  been  much  altered,  and  the  warriors  in  the  Gefolge 
or  suite  of  the  king,  had  assumed  the  order  of  nobility,  and  occupied 
the  place  of  the  freemen,  the  Saxons  still  lived  in  the  ancient  man- 
ners of  their  ancestors,  without  a  common  chieftain,  each  Gau  or 
district  under  its  own  head,  and  only  during  war,  under  a  self-elected 
leader.  It  was  a  community  of  freemen  in  free  dwellings.  The  in- 
terior of  their  country  was  defended  by  forests  and  morasses,  and 
strong  places  for  the  defence  of  the  boundaries  were  erected  on  the 
Lippe,  Ruhr,  Weser,  Dimel,  and  Elbe.  In  their  groves  of  a 
thousand  years'  growth,  they  still  sacrificed  to  the  gods  of  their 
fathers,  whilst  the  other  German  tribes  had  all  adopted  Christianity; 
nay .  they  were  even  accused  of  still  celebrating  human  sacrifices.  The 
Franks  considered  themselves  so  superior  to  them  by  reason  of  their 
Christianity,  as  well  as  the  general  superiority  of  their  cultivation, 
that  their  historians  can  scarcely  deprecate  sufficiently  the  rudeness 
and  wildness  of  the  Saxons.  But  they  were  not  so  much  dangerous 
as  burdensome  neighbours  of  the  Franks,  because,  according  to  the 
ancient  German  practice,  they  did  not  wish  to  make  conquests,  but 
merely  roved  in  predatory  incursions  into  neighbouring  countries. 
But  a  well-guarded  frontier  would  have  been  a  sufficient  protection 
against  them  as  well  as  against  the  Slavonians  and  Avari,  and  we 
see  from  this  sketched  description,  that  Charles  might  have  re- 
mained, like  the  Merovingians,  in  quiet  possession  of  his  inheritance 
without  conducting  such  great  external  wars.  The  Frankish  em- 

Eire  extended  in  self-sufficient  strength,  from  the  Pyrenees  to  the 
ower  Rhine,  and  from  the  English  Channel  to  the  Ens,  in  Austria, 
and  had  nothing  to  fear  from  any  of  its  neighbours. 

But  a  mind  satisfied  with  mere  tranquil  possession  was  not  ac- 
corded to  Charles;  its  internal  power  was  used  to  vent  itself  in  new 
forms  for  this  was  the  law  implanted  in  his  nature.  The  condition  of 
the  world  demanded  great  creative  powers  in  order  not  to  remain  for 
centuries  longer  waste  and  confused.  We  dare  not  censure  Charles 
because  he  followed  this  impulse  of  his  nature,  but  the  way  in  which 
he  followed  it  and  modelled  his  new  creation,  gives  the  measure  of 
judgment  against  him.  Were  high  and  noble  thoughts  his  guide, 
and  was  his  own  genius  great,  or  was  it  petty,  and  directed  to  vain, 
things?  Upon  that  the  history  of  his  life  must  decide. 

After  Charles  (who  ascended  the  throne  in  his  twenty-sixth  year) 
and  his  brother  Carloman  had  reigned  together  some  years,  the  latter 
died  in  77 1 .  The  nobles  of  Carloman's  possessions  desired  his  brother 
for  their  king  also,  and  cast  out  the  two  sons  of  Carloman  from  suc- 
cession to  the  throne,  with  whom  the  widow  fled,  and  took  refuge  at 
the  court  of  Desiderius,  king  of  the  Longobardi.  Thus  was  Charles 
sole  ruler  of  the  Franks.  Upon  this  he  assembled  at  Worms  an  im- 
perial diet  in  772,  where  he  represented  to  the  assembly  the  re- 
peated offences  of  the  Saxons  and  the  merit  of  their  conversion  to 


Christianity;  upon  which  the  nation  declared  war  against  the  Saxons 
— the  first  and  longest  war  that  Charles  was  engaged  in — for  it  con- 
tinued with  several  interruptions  to  the  year  803,  consequently  for 
thirty-two  years.  During  this  time  Charles  frequently  conquered 
the  Saxons  in  open  field,  and  forced  them  to  conclude  peace,  but 
when  he  again  quitted  their  country,  and  was  obliged  to  withdraw  to 
the  farther  end  of  his  empire,  they  broke  the  peace,  rebelled  against 
the  obnoxious  dominion,  chased  away  the  Frankish  garrisons,  and 
made  incursions  into  the  country  of  the  Franks,  until  Charles  again 
appeared  and  forced  them  anew  to  submission. 

The  first  irruption  made  in  their  country,  in  the  year  772,  was 
successful  and  short.  He  proceeded  from  Worms,  through  Hessia  to 
the  Weser,  and  Dimel.  He  conquered  the  burg  of  Eresberg  (the  pre- 
sent Statberg,  in  the  bishopric  of  Paderborn),  the  Saxon  place  of  re- 
treat not  far  from  the  Weser,  in  a  rude  neighbourhood,  and  upon  a 
precipitous  height;  and  destroyed  the  celebrated  Irminsul  (or  statue 
of  Irmin),  an  object  regarded  with  the  most  sacred  veneration  by 
the  Saxons,  but  of  which  we  do  not  precisely  know  whether  it  was 
an  image  of  a  god,  or  perhaps  a  monument  of  Arminius,  thus  revered 
with  divine  honours.  The  Saxons  concluded  peace  upon  the  banks 
of  the  Weser,  and  gave  twelve  chiefs  as  hostages. 

Charles  was  rejoiced  at  having  so  speedily  concluded  an  advan- 
tageous peace,  for  already  other  affairs  called  him  into  Italy.  De- 
giderius,  who  by  the  reception  of  the  widow  of  Caiioman  had  al- 
ready shown  himself  as  an  enemy,  required  of  the  new  pope,  Adrian, 
that  he  should  anoint  the  sons  of  Carloman  as  kings  of  the  Franks ; 
and  upon  Adrian's  refusal,  he  threatened  him  with  war.  The  pope 
demanded  aid  from  Charles,  who  at  once  advanced,  crossed  the 
Alps,  marched  round  the  passes,  of  which  the  Longobardi  had 
taken  possession,  and  encamped  before  Pavia  in  the  year  774. 
Desiderius  purposed  defending  his  metropolis  until  sickness  and 
want  should  force  the  Franks  to  retire.  But  Charles  was  not  of  a 
disposition  to  be  so  soon  fatigued ;  he  let  his  army  lie  six  months  be- 
fore Pavia,  went  himself  to  the  Easter  festival  at  Rome,  which  he 
for  the  first  time  witnessed,  and  there  confirmed  the  deed  of  gift 
made  by  his  father.  He  then  returned  to  Pavia,  which  soon  yielded 
to  him,  received  Desiderius  as  a  prisoner,  and  sent  him,  after  shaving 
his  head  for  the  cowl,  to  the  monastery  at  Corvey  in  France,  where, 
after  a  short  time,  he  died.  Charles  now  called  himself  king  of  the 
Lombards,  and  caused  himself  to  be  crowned  at  Monza. 

As  the  Saxons  had  in  the  meantime  recommenced  war,  he  on 
his  return,  and  after  he  had  held  a  diet  at  Diiren,  made  in  775,  a 
new  incursion  into  their  country,  conquered  Sigberg,  restored  the 
Eresberg  destroyed  by  the  Saxons,  pressed  onwards  over  the  Weser 
to  the  Oker,  there  receiving  hostages  from  the  Eastphalians,  and  on 
his  return,  near  Buckeburg  (Buchi),  obtaining  also  those  of  the  An- 
gravarians.  But  as,  in  the  meantime,  the  Longobardian,  Duke  Rot- 
gaud,  of  Frioul,  to  whom,  as  vassal  of  the  empire,  he  had  entrusted  the 


passes  of  the  Alps,  decided  upon  taking  advantage  of  the  moment,  and 
rebelled,  Charles  was  already  again  in  Italy  (776),  and  punished  the 
seceders  before  they  thought  him  even  apprised  of  their  plans.  This 
time,  also,  he  was  about  to  advance  to  Rome,  when  a  message  ar- 
rived with  intelligence  that  the  Saxons  had  again  revolted,  had  retaken 
Eresberg,  and  laid  siege  to  Sigsberg.  He  speedily  returned  back 
into  Germany,  forced  his  way  through  all  their  forest-defences  as  far 
as  Lippspring,  when  the  Saxons  again  yielded,  and  many  vowed  to 
become  Christians,  and  offered  themselves  to  be  baptised.  He  built  a 
fortress  on  the  Lippe,  perhaps  where  Lippsstadt  at  present  stands. 

In  the  following  year  (777),  he  was  already  enabled  to  hold  a 
diet  at  Paderborn,  in  the  country  of  the  Saxons,  where  the  majority 
of  the  nation  swore  fidelity.  Their  boldest  leader,  however,  Wit- 
tekind  (Saxon,  Widukind),  had  fled  to  the  Danish  king,  Sigfried. 
It  was  at  this  diet  that  the  ambassadors  of  the  Arabian  governors 
of  Saragossa  and  Huesca,  in  Spain,  appeared  before  Charles,  and 
entreated  his  assistance  against  the  King,  Abderam.  He  consi- 
dered it  worthy  of  his  dignity  not  to  allow  those  who  placed  them- 
selves under  his  protection  to  entreat  in  vain;  besides,  these  unbe- 
lievers, who  had  pressed  onwards  into  Europe,  were  his  most  hated 
enemies.  Accordingly  he  advanced  in  the  following  year  (778), 
Into  Spain;  the  petty  Christian  princes  in  the  mountains  of  Na- 
varre, who  had  maintained  themselves  independent  of  the  Moors, 
here  joined  him;  he  conquered  Pampeluna,  Saragossa,  Barcelona,  and 
Girona;  and  the  country  as  far  as  the  Ebro  swore  allegiance  to  him. 
Henceforward  it  formed  part  of  his  empire,  under  the  name  of 
the  Spanish  marches  or  limits,  and  was  a  land  of  protection  for 
the  Christians  remaining  in  Spain. 

Upon  his  return,  however,  with  his  army,  winding  itself,  as  it 
Is  poetically  described,  like  a  long  brazen  serpent  among  the  rough 
rocks  of  the  Pyrenees,  and  through  the  obscure  forests  and  narrow 
paths,  the  rear-guard  became  separated  from  the  main  body,  and  in 
an  ambuscade  laid  by  the  mountaineers,  fell  into  the  ravines  of  Ron- 
cesvalles.  The  Franks  could  not  fight  in  their  heavy  armour,  and 
they  fell  with  their  leader  Rutland,  the  Count  de  la  Manche.  This 
is  the  celebrated  knight,  Roland,  who  later,  as  well  as  his  king — 
Charles,  is  so  much  sung  in  the  legends  and  heroic  lays  of  Europe. 

Meanwhile  the  Saxons,  according  to  custom,  when  the  king  was 
at  a  distance,  had  again  seized  arms.  Under  Wittekind  they  fell 
upon  the  country  of  the  Franks,  and  devastated  it  with  fire  and 
sword  as  far  as  Deuz,  opposite  Cologne.  This,  like  the  earlier  revolts 
of  the  Saxons,  was  not  so  much  a  war  of  the  nation  and  of  the  heads 
of  families,  but  of  individual  leaders  with  their  suite  or  Gefolge,  who 
did  not  consider  themselves  bound  by  the  treaties.  Charles  returned, 
drove  the  enemy  far  back  into  their  country,  and  in  780  constructed 
fortresses  on  the  Elbe  to  fix  a  strong  rein  upon  them.  And  now 
thinking  himself  quite  secured  in  that  quarter,  he  made  a  journey  in 
78 1  to  Rome  to  cause  his  sons  Pepin  and  Louis  to  be  anointed  by  the 


Pope,  the  former  King  of  Italy,  the  latter  King  of  Acquitaine  (South 

The  Saxons  in  the  interim  had  maintained  themselves  perfectly 
quiet,  but  the  remembrance  of  their  ancient  freedom  would  not  quite 
die  within  them,  and  Christianity,  which  had  been  brought  to  them 
with  the  sword  by  their  hated  neighbours,  gained  no  power  over 
their  hearts.  It  appeared  insupportable  to  them  that  a  man  should  not 
himself  revenge  a  contumely,  and  that  a  hero  should  not  have  a  par- 
ticular heaven.  The  impost  of  tithes  which  they  were  obliged  to  pay 
to  the  church,  appeared  also  excessively  oppressive  to  them.  As  Wit- 
tekind  had,  therefore,  now  returned  and  placed  himself  at  their  head, 
they  thought  the  present  was  the  best  moment  for  them  to  shake  off 
the  yoke,  and,  the  same  as  formerly,  when  their  nation  fell  upon  Varus 
in  the  Teutoburger  forest,  they  now  surrounded  the  Frankish  leaders 
Geilo  and  Adalgis,  upon  Mount  Suntel,  on  the  Weser,  just  as  they 
were  about  to  march  against  the  predatory  Serbians  dwelling  on  the 
Saale,  and  destroyed  them  as  well  as  the  greatest  portion  of  their  army. 

This  deed  inflamed  the  wrath  of  the  king  (who  was  already  ex- 
cessively irritated  at  their  repeated  rebellion)  to  the  degree,  that 
he  broke  into  the  country,  desolated  it  far  and  wide,  and  caused 
4500  imprisoned  Saxons  to  be  beheaded  near  Verden  on  the  Aller, 
as  a  terrible  example  to  the  rest,  and  as  a  sacrifice  for  his  army  de- 
stroyed— as  it  appeared  to  him,  by  treachery;  a  stain  in  his  history 
which  cannot  be  justified,  but  may  partly  be  excused  by  the  rash 
and  turbulent  manners  of  those  times,  and  the  excited  passions  of  the 
king.  As  a  consequence  of  this  severe  act,  Charles,  in  783,  beheld 
the  whole  nation  of  the  Saxons,  under  Wittekind  and  Alboin,  rise 
simultaneously  in  such  furious  rage  and  madness  as  had  never 
before  been  evinced.  Two  severe  battles  were  fought  near  Thiet- 
melle,  now  Detmold,  and  on  the  river  Hase  in  Osnaburg;  the  first 
was  undecided,  but  the  second  so  unfortunate  for  the  Saxons,  that 
Charles  advanced  as  far  as  the  Elbe,  and  in  this  and  the  next  year, 
when  with  his  wife  and  children  he  passed  the  winter  campaign  at 
Eresburg,  he  progressively  strengthened  his  power  in  their  country. 
Wittekind  and  Alboin  then  saw  that  heaven  had  decided  the  fate  of 
their  nation,  and  that  a  longer  resistance  would  completely  annihi- 
late it.  They  promised  submission  to  the  powerful  king,  and  took  an 
oath  to  go  themselves  to  France,  and  be  there  baptised ;  and  they  kept 
their  word.  In  the  year  785  they  came  to  Attigny,  and  Charles  him- 
self was  sponsor  to  the  Saxon  duke,  Wittekind,  and  his  wife  Gera. 

From  this  time  henceforward  Saxony  became  more  tranquil,  and  sub- 
mitted to  the  Frankish  institutions  as  well  as  to  those  of  Christianity. 
Charles,  for  the  purpose  of  strengthening  this  doctrine  among  them, 
likewise  founded,  by  degrees,  several  bishoprics  and  religious  foun- 
dations, which  continued  to  spread  light  around,  viz. :  in  Osnaburg,  in 
783;  Verden,  in  786;  Bremen,  in  788;  Paderborn,  in  795;  Halber- 
stadt ;  Elze  (which  was  removed  in  822  to  Hildesheirn),  and  Munster, 
in  806.  Yet  the  seeds  of  disquiet  were  not  quite  destroyed;  small  dis- 


putes  still  frequently  arose,  and  we  shall  shortly  come  to  one  of 
greater  import. 

Charles's  next  dispute  was  with  Duke  Tassilo  of  Bavaria,  of  the  an- 
cient race  of  the  Agitolfingi.  Tassilo  had  still  old  offences  to  answer 
for,  inasmuch  as  he  had  never  supplied  Pepin  or  Charles  with  troops, 
and  he  was  now  charged  with  having  incited  the  Avari  of  Hungary 
to  war  with  the  king.  His  consort  Luitberga,  a  daughter  of  the 
Longobardian  king,  Desiderius,  may  have  enacted  her  part  likewise  in 
these  designs.  Tassilo  was  condemned  to  death  by  the  assembled  no- 
bles at  the  diet  of  Ingelheim,  778,  but  pardoned  by  Charles;  and 
by  his  own  wish,  together  with  his  son  Theodore,  banished  to  a  mo- 
nastery. Bavaria  became  now,  like  the  other  Frankish  countries, 
ruled  by  royal  counts  or  governors,  and  the  bishopric  of  Salzburg 
was  raised  to  an  archbishopric  over  the  whole  of  Bavaria, 

In  the  year  787,  Arechis,  the  Longobardian  Duke  of  Benevento 
in  Lower  Italy,  also  yielded  allegiance  to  the  king  as  his  superior 
feudal  lord.  He  ruled  that  beautiful  country  as  far  as  Naples  and 
Brindisi.  He  made  it  a  condition,  however,  that  he  himself  should 
not  come  to  Germany  and  appear  before  Charles,  which  was  granted. 
The  duke  received  the  ambassadors  of  the  king  at  Salerno;  his 
army  surrounded  the  palace,  young  nobles  with  the  falcon  on  their 
gauntlet,  formed  rows  upon  the  grand  steps  leading  up  to  the  Burg, 
whilst  the  hall  was  filled  with  the  provosts  of  cities,  and  their  coun- 
cil in  state  dresses,  &c.  The  duke,  seated  upon  the  gorgeous,  golden 
chair  of  state,  stood  up,  and  swore  to  be  faithful  to  the  king,  to 
maintain  peace,  and  to  perform  feudal  service  to  the  extent  of  a 
league  beyond  the  frontiers  of  Benevento. 

After  this,  Charles  formed  the  resolution  to  punish  the  Avari  in 
Austria  and  Hungary  for  their  earlier  predatory  expeditions.  Ac- 
cordingly, he  marched  against  them  in  the  year  791;  the  Franks 
advanced  on  the  south  side  of  the  Danube;  the  Saxons,  with  the 
Friesi,  who  were  both  obliged  to  yield  feudal  service,  advanced  upon 
its  northern  bank;  and  upon  the  river  itself  a  flotilla  conveyed  an- 
other portion  of  the  army.  Their  appearance  alone  drove  the  Avari 
away  full  of  terror ;  they  left  to  the  enemy  the  immense  booty  of 
their  treasures,  and  Charles  subjected  the  country  to  his  dominion  as 
far  as  the  river  Raab. 

In  the  following  years,  he  merely  sent  detached  forces  against 
them.  His  main  army  remained,  meanwhile,  in  South  Germany,  and 
worked  at  a  canal  to  form  the  junction  of  the  Altmuhl  with  the  Red- 
nitz  rivers,  between  the  Maine  and  the  Danube,  which,  had  it  been  com- 
pleted, would  have  united  the  North  Sea,  by  means  of  the  Rhine,  with 
the  Danube  to  the  Black  Sea ;  an  important  work,  replete  with  rich 
commercial  prospects.  Levantine  merchandize  would  thus  have 
found  a  direct  course  from  their  repository  at  Constantinople  to  the 
very  heart  of  Charles's  states.  But  unfavourable  weather,  and  the  dif- 
ficulties of  the  ground,  but  chiefly  the  want  of  skill  in  his  workmen, 
who  knew  not  how  to  drain  ihe  water  from  the  places  that  were  dug, 


nor  to  secure  the  banks  of  tlie  canal  from  falling  in,  rendered  the 
work  nugatory.  Charles,  therefore,  abandoned  the  undertaking ;  but 
the  honour  of  completing  this  great  plan,  originating  with  him,  has 
been  handed  down  and  conferred  in  our  days  upon  another  sovereign 
of  the  German  race.  And  the  cause  why  he  did  not  now  again  at- 
tack the  Avari,  and  thus  open  to  himself  the  road  to  Constantinople, 
was  produced  by  a  fresh  rebellion  of  the  Saxons,  who,  not  liking  long 
warlike  expeditions,  but  only  short-excursions,  found  the  hard  march- 
ing feudal  service  in  such  distant  parts  particularly  trying.  They  re- 
sisted it  and  mutinied,  and  induced  the  Friesi  to  do  the  same.  The 
king  was,  therefore,  obliged  to  make  several  incursions  into  their 
country,  in  the  course  of  which,  in  797,  he  advanced  as  far  as  the 
ocean  between  the  mouths  of  the  Elbe  and  Weser.  Meantime,  the 
war  against  the  Avari  was  continued  successfully  by  his  generals, 
and  then  by  his  son  Pepin,  to  the  year  796 ;  the  seat  of  their  Chagan 
or  chief,  the  main  circle  of  their  land,  with  all  its  treasures  were  con- 
quered, and  the  country  thus  wrested  from  them  was  taken  possession 
of  by  fresh  inhabitants,  conveyed  from  other  German  states,  but  chiefly 
from  Bavaria.  Charles  distributed  the  immense  booty  amongst  his 
army,  by  which  means  the  quantity  of  noble  metals  became  sud- 
denly very  much  increased  in  the  Frankish  country. 

The  object  of  Charles  in  this  expedition  against  the  Avari,  as  well 
as  in  those  against  the  Sclavonian  nations,  was  chiefly  to  secure  the 
eastern  frontiers  of  the  kingdom.  Thence  arose  a  long  line  of  fron- 
tier provinces,  from  the  Adriatic  Sea  to  the  Elbe,  along  the  ancient 
boundaries  of  the  Longobardi,  Bavarians,  Swabians,  Franks,  Thu- 
ringians,  and  Saxons.  To  these  were  appointed  margraves,  who 
bore  the  title  of  marchio  (dux  limitis),  and  who  had  their  seats  origi- 
nally fixed  in  the  most  strongly  fortified  burgs  of  the  ancient  dis- 
tricts. The  inhabitants  of  these  frontier  provinces,  through  wars 
and  repeated  revolts,  became  gradually  destroyed,  and  were  replaced 
by  German  colonists,  for  whose  protection  the  burgs  were  usefully 
adapted,  as  well  as  for  bringing  either  into  subjection  or  alliance  the 
neighbouring  Slavonic  princes.  Several  of  these  princes  entered, 
subsequently,  the  ranks  of  the  princes  of  the  empire ;  for  Charles's 
plans  and  regulations  in  these  countries  operated  late  in  after  years 
with  beneficial  effect. 

The  disputes  with  the  Saxons  continued  until  the  ninth  century ; 
but  the  strength  of  these  people  became  more  and  more  weakened, 
and  especially  after  Charles^  forced,  by  their  obstinate  resistance,  to 
adopt  such  extreme  measures,  transplanted  some  thousands  of  them 
from  their  native  land  into  other  parts  of  his  kingdom.  Thus  they 
were  gradually  reduced  to  a  state  of  peace,  even  without  any  for- 
mal treaty  being  concluded — the  peace  of  Selz  in  803,  as  hitherto 
accepted,  not  being  admissible  as  a  proof  of  treaty — and  Charles  was 
enabled  to  commence  upon  his  plans  and  arrangements  in  Saxony. 
He  proceeded  at  once  to  strengthen  Christianity  amongst  them  more 
firmly,  whilst,  however,  he  granted  them  greater  independence  than 


lie  had  to  tlie  Allemanni  and  Bavarians.  They  retained  their  an- 
cient privileges,  and  were  chiefly  governed  by  native  counts,  who 
were,  it  is  true,  chosen  by  Charles,  and  were  placed  under  the  im- 
perial envoys.  This,  therefore,  may  rather  be  called  a  union  of  the 
Saxon  nation  with  that  of  the  Franks,  as  Einhard  himself  terms  it, 
than  a  subjection;  and,  indeed,  they  well  merited,  by  the  perse- 
vering consistency  with  which  they  conducted  it,  so  honourable  a 
conclusion  to  their  long  struggle  for  freedom.  But,  on  the  other  hand, 
Charles's  perseverance  is  also  to  be  admired,  for  although  he  had  the 
advantage  of  numbers  and  great  superiority  in  the  art  of  war  on  his 
side,  still  the  Saxons  had  the  benefit  of  their  country,  and  the  forests 
and  morasses  as  formerly  in  their  battles  with  the  Romans. 

Charles,  to  confirm  tranquillity  for  ever  among  them,  transplanted 
about  10,000  of  the  most  violent  from  the  Elbe  and  the  coasts  of  the 
North  Sea  into  the  country  of  the  Franks,  as  cultivators  of  the  im- 
perial farms ;  and  from  that  transplantation,  no  doubt,  is  derived  the 
names  of  Sachsenhausen  near  Frankfort,  as  well  as  Sachsenheim 
and  Sachsenflur,  in  Franconia.  The  places  left  thus  void  on  the 
Elbe  he  gave  over  to  his  allies  the  Vandal  Obotriti,  in  Mecklen- 
burg, and  the  Vagrian  Sclavi,  from  whom  this  part  of  Holstein  has 
received  and  preserved  the  name  of  Vagria. 

If  we  cast  back  our  glance  upon  these  first  thirty  years  of  the 
reign  of  Charles  thus  filled  with  wars,  we  must  admire  the  great  ra- 
pidity with  which  he  marched  from  Saxony  to  Italy,  from  there  back 
to  the  Weser,  and  then  back  again  twice  the  same  road:  then  into 
Spain  along  the  Ebro,  and  back  to  the  Elbe,  proceeding  on  to  Hun- 
gary, to  the  Raab,  and  again  returning  into  his  own  country ;  and 
wherever  he  arrived,  his  presence  immediately  deciding  the  contest. 
Herein  we  have  at  once  the  true  character  of  a  hero ;  this  boldness  and 
rapidity  of  thought,  resolution,  and  action;  this  impression  of  innate 
personal  greatness,  which  nothing  could  resist,  and  which  greatness 
nobody  has  sought  to  deny.  But  still  more  than  all  this,  it  was  not  ab- 
solutely the  love  of  war  and  conquest,  and  the  honour  of  his  name,  which 
inspired  him  to  drive  his  armies  on  so  breathlessly  through  the  countries 
of  Europe,  but  his  plans  were  regulated  by  one  grand  creative  idea 
for  which  he  considered  himself  called  upon  to  make  these  sacrifices. 

What  already  the  great  Ostro-Gothic  king,  Theodoric,  had  in  con- 
templation, prospective,  as  it  were,  of  future  times,  but  which  it  was  not 
allowed  him  to  accomplish,  viz.,  the  union  of  the  Christian  Ger- 
manic nations  into  one  empire,  Charlemagne  executed ;  not  certainly 
in  Theodoric's  manner,  by  the  gentle  force  of  persuasion  and  convic- 
tion, for  by  that  means  the  end  was  not  to  be  attained,  but  accord- 
ing to  the  custom  of  his  nation  and  of  his  age,  by  the  terror  of  arms. 
Yet,  he  cannot  be  charged  with  having  capriciously  sought  war  more 
urgently  than  was  necessary  for  the  attainment  of  his  object. 

The  central  point  of  this  great  Germanic  empire  was  to  be  the  beau- 
tiful country  of  the  Rhine,  and  Ingelheim  near  Mentz,  was,  therefore, 
made  the  royal  seat,  but  which  was  afterwards  transferred  to  Aix-la-Cha- 


pelle  and  Nimwegen.  No  doubt  he  might  Lave  found  richer  and 
more  attractive  spots  in  Italy  and  France,  to  induce  him  to  fix  his 
residence  there,  but  his  constant  mind  was  more  attached  to  his  an- 
cient fatherland  than  to  the  most  beautiful  countries  of  the  earth. 
He  was  no  Frankish  king  as  it  has  frequently  been  wished  to  repre- 
sent him ;  but  he  belonged  to  the  Austrasian  Franks,  which  is  the 
country  of  the  Rhine,  and  where  the  Franks  had  their  chief  inter- 
course with  the  Germans  still  remaining  there,  and  thus  continuing 
most  pure  and  unmixed.  This  country  he  intended  should  form  the 
main  and  central  seat  of  his  empire,  and  the  noble  stream  of  his 
fatherland,  as  it  were,  its  great  vital  artery,  which  should  unite  all 
its  different  sections.  This  is  indicated  by  the  canal  by  means  of 
which  he  purposed  connecting  the  Rhine  and  the  Danube. 

But  if  the  Lower  Rhine  and  Aix-la-Chapelle  were  to  form  the 
centre  and  seat  of  his  empire,  it  becomes  evident  that  his  chief  con- 
test must  be  with  the  Saxons,  who  were  here  too  close  and  unquiet 
neighbours  of  his  residence  for  him  to  tolerate.  He  necessarily,  there- 
fore, extended  the  limits  of  his  empire  farther  to  the  north  and  north- 
east. But  his  war  with  the  Saxons  had  a  still  different  but  equally 
serious  object;  it  being  essentially  a  religious  war,  for  the  honour 
and  diffusion  of  the  Christian  faith.  Charles  was  eminently  a  cham- 
pion of  the  church,  and  therein  a  type  of  the  chivalric  middle  ages. 
It  is  true  the  mild  doctrines  of  Christianity  should  not  be  diffused 
by  fire  and  the  sword ;  and  Charles  sufficiently  experienced  how  little 
durable  was  the  conversion  when  at  his  command  hundreds  at  the 
same  moment  stepped  into  a  river  and  had  water  poured  over  them 
in  sign  of  baptism ;  but  in  this  he  followed  less  his  own  wishes  than 
the  character  of  his  nation,  which  had  itself  been  converted  suddenly 
and  during  the  external  excitement  of  the  tumult  of  battle.  To 
him,  however,  belongs  the  fame  and  glory  that  he  also  knew  and  ho- 
noured the  right  mode  of  igniting  the  light  of  faith.  For  besides 
this,  he  founded  monasteries,  churches,  and  bishoprics  in  Saxony,  and 
that  these  doctrines  might  be  more  fully  developed  and  propagated, 
he  caused  also  all  the  young  Saxons,  received  as  hostages,  to  be  as- 
siduously instructed  with  others,  that  they  might,  as  teachers,  en- 
lighten their  nation.  And  so  perfectly  did  he  succeed  in  his  plans, 
that  this  same  Saxon  nation,  which  had  hitherto  so  obstinately  re- 
sisted Christianity,  was  speedily  filled  with  the  greatest  zeal  for  it, 
and  made  in  every  respect  a  flourishing  progress. 

The  confidential  and  beloved  friend  of  the  king,  Pope  Adrian, 
died  in  795.  Charles  mourned  for  him  as  for  a  father,  and  caused  an 
inscription  to  be  placed  over  his  tomb  which  contains  the  expression  of 
his  veneration.  His  successor,  Pope  Leo  III.,  was  misused  in  a  revolt 
of  the  Romans,  and  sought  protection  from  Charles,  who  received  him 
in  solemn  state  at  Paderborn,*  whither  the  pope  came  in  799,  amidst 
an  almost  incredible  concourse  of  venerating  people,  when  he  gave 

*  Pope  Leo  consecrated  at  Paderborn,  amongst  other  objects,  the  altar  of  St.  Ste- 
phen, which  is  still  to  be  found  in  the  vault  under  the  choir  of  the  cathedral. 


Mm  his  promise  to  go  himself  to  Rome  to  punish  the  evil-doers ;  and 
which  promise  he  fulfilled  in  the  year  800.  At  the  Christmas  fes- 
tival of  that  same  year,  Charles  was  present  at  the  service  in  St. 
Peter's  church  at  Rome.  On  this  great  occasion  individuals  from 
almost  every  nation  of  the  west,  were  collected  together  in  the  me- 
tropolis of  the  Christian  church,  and  an  innumerable  concourse  of 
people  filled  the  temple.  After  high  mass,  when  Charles  knelt  at 
the  altar,  Pope  Leo  brought  forth  an  imperial  crown  and  placed  it 
upon  his  head,  when  the  whole  assembled  multitude  exclaimed: 
"  Charles  Augustus,  crowned  by  the  Almighty,  the  great  and  peace- 
bringing  emperor  of  the  Romans.  Hail,  all  hail,  and  victory !"  At 
the  same  time  the  pope  knelt  down  before  him.* 

Thus  in  324,  the  year  after  Romulus  Augustulus  had  lost  the  Ro- 
man imperial  dignity,  it  was  again  renewed  by  Charlemagne,  who, 
as  a  patrician,  was  already  chief  protector  of  Rome.  He  himself 
attributed  so  much  importance  to  the  imperial  coronation,  that  all  his 
subjects,  from  twelve  years  of  age  upwards,  were  obliged  to  renew 
their  oath  of  allegiance.  His  power  was  now  extended  over  Italy, 
France,  Catalonia,  the  Balearic  islands,  and  on  the  other  side  as  far 

*  Eginhard,  the  biographer  and  friend  of  Charles,  says  indeed — and  we  may  pre- 
sume as  received  direct  from  the  mouth  of  the  emperor  himself — that  the  latter  had, 
at  first,  adopted  the  title,  Augustus  Imperator,  with  very  great  reluctance,  and  that 
he  assured  him  he  would  not  even  have  entered  the  walls  of  the  church  on  that  grand 
day  of  festival,  had  he  foreseen  the  intention  of  the  pope.  Nevertheless,  it  is  scarcely 
to  be  conceived  that  a  proceeding  so  grave  and  highly  important  could  have  been 
arranged  without  the  knowledge  and  concurrence  of  Charles,  who,  indeed,  in  all  his 
actions  never  allowed  himself  to  be  led  by  others.  Besides,  it  is  already  evident, 
from  what  is  shown  by  other  good  testimonies  (Annul.  Lauris.  ham),  that  the  renewal 
of  the  imperial  dignity  had  been  discussed  and  resolved  upon,  for  Alcuin  himself 
knew  of  it  beforehand,  he  having  given  to  one  of  his  pupils  a  bible  and  a  letter,  both 
of  which  he  was  deputed  to  present  to  the  emperor  at  the  Christmas  festival  in 
Rome,  and  in  which  letter  the  learned  master  wished  the  mighty  sovereign  all  happi- 
ness ad  splendorem  imperialis  potentia.  But  what  struck  Charles,  no  doubt,  with 
sudden  surprise  and  momentary  vexation  was,  that  the  pope  should  merely  have 
presented  to  him  the  imperial  crown,  and  that  it  had  not  been  left  to  him,  the  sovereign, 
to  place  it  upon  his  own  head  himself,  or  to  command  it  to  be  done  by  the  pope  (as 
his  bishop),  as  was  the  custom  with  the  Greek  emperors,  who  were  crowned  by  their 
patriarchs ;  thence,  there  is  little  doubt,  arose  the  expressions  attributed  to  him  by 
Eginhard.  This,  indeed,  is  clearly  shown  subsequently,  when,  at  Aix-la-Chapelle, 
he  ordered  Louis  to  place  the  crown  upon  his  own  head.  Charles  always  considered 
himself  as  chief  ruler  over  Rome,  styled  the  Romans  in  his  decrees  as  his  subjects, 
and  included  Rome  in  his  will  amongst  the  chief  cities  of  his  empire.  The  popes 
again,  on  their  part,  placed  his  own  name,  as  well  as  those  of  his  successors,  on  their 
coins,  and  included  them  in  their  bulls.  In  his  letters,  Charles  henceforth  calls  him- 
self: "  Carolus  serenissimus  augustus  a  Deo  coronatus  magnus  pacificus  imperator 
Romanum  gubernans  imperium,  qui  et  per  misericordiam  Dei  rex  Francorum  et 
Langobardorum."  To  him  it  was  important  to  hold  dominion  over  those  other  na- 
tions which  had  not  devolved  upon  him  by  hereditary  right,  by  some  other  means 
than  the  mere  sway  of  conquest,  and  he  well  knew  that  among  the  German  tribes 
the  title  of  Roman  emperor  always  connected  itself  with  the  idea  of  supreme  govern- 
ment. Besides,  to  the  emperor  all  were  equally  bound  to  yield  allegiance — counts, 
bishops,  freemen,  and  servitors;  whilst  in  obedience  to  the  king,  the  freemen  varied 
materially  from  the  vassal,  and  the  bishop  from  the  layman.  It  likewise  established 
his  position  towards  the  clergy,  for  the  pope  became  now  the  first  bishop  of  the  em- 
pire, and  Alcuin  says  distinctly  (cap.  ii.),  that  the  imperial  power  is  higher  than  any 
other,  even  that  of  the  pope. 


as  the  north  sea,  the  Elbe,  the  Bohemian  forest,  the  Raab,  and  the 
mountains  of  Croatia,  thus  even  over  the  greatest  portion  of  the  an- 
cient Roman  empire  in  Europe. 

By  this  solemn  act,  Charles's  grand  undertaking  was  completed,  ac- 
cording to  its  outward  form.  All  the  Christian  nations  of  German  origin, 
excepting  England,  were  united  in  one  large  body,  and  Charles,  as 
their  temporal  chief,  was  crowned  under  the  ancient  and,  by  God's 
guidance  renewed  title  of  Roman  emperor.  As  such,  he  was  the  chief 
protector  of  the  church — by  the  Franconian  synod  he  was  styled  the 
regent  of  true  religion — as  well  as  the  guardian  of  justice  and  peace 
in  Europe ;  and  under  his  powerful  protection,  the  recently  planted 
germ  of  fresh  life  and  new  moral  cultivation  could  safely  develope 
itself,  without  being  trampled  upon  by  the  destructive  contention  of 
nations.  Accordingly,  this  was  the  great  aim  and  purpose  of  the 
Roman  imperial  dignity,  as  renewed  by  the  Germans,  and  as  The- 
odoric  had  contemplated,  which  Charles  alone,  however,  was  enabled, 
by  his  power,  to  call  into  existence — an  object  which  has  ever  con- 
tinued to  be  fostered  in  the  heart  of  every  noble  and  magnanimous 
emperor  succeeding  to  the  throne  of  the  Germanic  empire. 

Charles's  empire  was  therefore  not  what  it  has  been  endeavoured 
by  a  new  name  to  call — a  universal  monarchy;  not  one  empire  wherein 
all  the  nations  and  countries  within  his  reach  were  subject  to  his,  the 
individual's  will,  and  by  one  law,  custom,  and  language,  united 
into  one  uniform,  circumscribed  whole.  Such  was  not  Charles's 
wish.  He  honoured  the  peculiarities  of  nations,  left  them  their 
laws,  which  were  based  upon  their  ancient  customs  and  modes  of 
living;  he  left  them  their  manners  and  their  language,  which  a  nation 
could  not  be  deprived  of  without  inflicting  the  most  grievous  wound. 
He  was  even  so  widely  distant  from  the  idea  of  an  empire  strongly 
and  despotically  ruled  by  the  will  of  one  individual,  that  during  his 
life,  in  the  year  806,  at  Dietenhofen,  he  divided  his  countries  be- 
tween his  three  sons,  so  that  Pepin  should  take  Italy,  Louis, 
Aquitine,  and  Charles  the  remainder,  consisting  chiefly  of  German 
countries.  They  and  their  successors  were  bound  to  consider  them- 
selves as  the  members  of  one  race,  and  under  the  superior  guidance  of 
the  emperor  for  the  time  being,  or  the  head  of  the  family,  hold  fra- 
ternally together,  and  accustom  their  nations  to  a  similar  unity. 

His  soul  was  full  of  such  good  and  noble  thoughts,  that  Europe 
would  soon  have  flourished  upon  the  basis  he  thus  laid,  had  but  a 
portion  of  his  spirit  fallen  to  the  share  of  his  descendants. 

But  Charles  partially  foresaw  with  his  own  eyes  the  destruction  of 
his  plans.  Both  of  his  most  promising  sons  died  shortly  after  each 
other,  even  before  their  father,  and  Louis,  the  weakest,  alone  re- 
mained. The  eldest,  Charles,  had  made  several  successful  cam- 
paigns against  the  Sorbians  beyond  the  Elbe.  The  father  hoped 
every  thing  from  this  son,  but  unhappily  these  hopes  were  frus- 

As  Charles  now  felt  his  own  end  approaching  more  and  more 


near,  he  sent  for  his  son  Louis  to  come  to  him  in  the  year  813  to 
Aix-la-Chapelle,  and  there  on  a  Sunday,  when  in  the  cathedral  to- 
gether, he  reminded  him  of  all  the  duties  of  a  good  monarch  and 
he  then  caused  Louis  to  place  the  golden  crown  (which  lay  upon 
the  altar)  upon  his  head,  and  thus  crowned,  his  venerable  father 
presented  him  to  the  assembly  as  the  future  king  of  all  the 
Franks.  By  this  act  Charles  wished  to  show  that  his  crown  was 
independent  of  the  papal  chair,  and  the  Franks  were  greatly  pleased 
with  this  determination  evinced  by  their  prince  at  the  close  of  his 

The  venerable  emperor,  however,  remained  still  active ;  he  conti- 
nued to  hold  imperial  diets  and  church  convocations,  and  regulated 
all  other  affairs  of  the  state. 

In  January  of  the  year  814  he  was  attacked  by  a  fever,  which 
was  followed  by  pleurisy.  Charles,  who  up  to  his  latter  days  had 
never  been  ill,  and  was  always  an  enemy  to  medicine,  wished  to 
cure  himself  by  his  usual  remedy  of  fasting,  but  his  body  had  now 
become  too  weak.  About  five  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  eighth 
day  of  his  illness  (the  28th  of  January),  he  felt  the  approach  of  death, 
and  energetically  raising  his  right  hand,  marked  upon  his  forehead, 
bosom,  and  even  to  the  feet,  the  sign  of  the  cross.  He  then  stretched 
forth  his  arms  once  more,  folded  them  over  his  bosom,  closed  his  eyes, 
and  murmuring  softly  and  in  broken  tones,  "Lord,  into  thy  hands  do 
I  commit  my  soul,"  he  breathed  his  last  sigh  in  the  seventy-second 
year  of  his  age,  and  the  forty-sixth  of  his  reign.  On  the  very  day 
of  his  death  the  body  of  the  deceased  emperor  was  solemnly  cleansed, 
laid  out,  and  anointed,  and  conveyed  amidst  the  sorrow  and  mourn- 
ing of  the  whole  nation,  to  the  vault  of  the  church  built  by  himself. 
He  was  there  clothed  in  all  the  imperial  robes,  with  a  golden  gospel 
spread  out  on  his  knees,  a  piece  of  the  original  holy  cross  upon  his 
head,  and  a  pilgrim's  golden  scrip  around  his  loins,  and  placed  thus 
in  an  upright  position  upon  a  marble  chair;  when,  filling  the  vault 
with  frankincense,  spices,  balsam,  and  many  costly  articles,  they 
closed  and  sealed  it  up. 

So  much  veneration  for  the  emperor  existed  throughout  all  his 
dominions,  and  so  much  were  all  eyes  directed  upon  him,  that 
every  thing,  which  during  the  last  few  years  of  his  existence,  had 
happened  to  him  either  wonderful  or  extraordinary,  was  considered 
as  prophetic  of  his  death.  His  biographer,  Eginhard.  mentions 
many  such  phenomena.  During  the  three  years  preceding  his  death, 
there  were  frequent  eclipses  of  the  sun  and  moon ;  the  arcade  of 
columns,  which  Charles  had  caused  to  be  erected  between  the  min- 
ster and  the  imperial  palace,  sank  by  a  sudden  revolution  of  nature, 
upon  Ascension  Day,  into  the  earth,  and  was  destroyed  to  its  very 
foundation.  Besides  which  the  Rhine  bridge,  near  Mentz,  which 
in  the  course  of  ten  years  he  had  built  of  wood  with  great  ingenuity 
and  art,  so  that  it  was  rendered  fit  to  last  for  ages,  was  entirely 
destroyed  by  fire  in  the  short  space  of  three  hours.  He  himself  in 


his  last  campaign  against  Godfrey,  king  of  the  Danes,  upon  march- 
ing forth  one  day  before  sunrise,  beheld  a  fiery  meteor  fall  suddenly 
from  heaven,  passing  from  the  right  to  the  left,  through  the  clear 
air.  At  this  moment  his  horse  plunged,  and  falling  to  the  earth, 
overthew  him  so  violently  that  the  clasp  of  his  mantle  broke,  his 
sword-belt  was  torn  asunder,  so  that  he  was  lifted  from  the  ground 
by  his  alarmed  attendants  without  a  mantle  and  without  his  sword. 
To  which  may  be  added  a  variety  of  other  signs,  equally  alarming 
in  their  indication,  but  in  which  the  great  emperor  was  too  wise  to 
place  any  faith. 

In  order  that  we  may  completely  comprehend  the  extraordinary 
man  whose  history  thus  calls  forth  our  admiration,  we  necessarily  desire 
to  be  acquainted  with  his  outward  form,  wherein  the  mighty  spirit 
was  encased.  We  are  anxious  to  know  how  the  eye  reflected  the 
internal  sentiments;  whether  the  brow  and  countenance  depicted 
dignity  and  repose,  or  whether  they  expressed  the  animated,  im- 
petuous emotions  of  the  mind ;  and  finally,  whether  the  elevation 
and  power  of  the  spirit  were  equally  displayed  throughout  the  en- 
tire corporeal  form.  Eginhard,  the  friend  of  Charlemagne,  and 
whom  the  latter  had  brought  up  in  his  palace  as  his  adopted  son, 
has  drawn  up  for  us  a  beautiful  and  affectionate  description  of  his 
noble  fosterfather : 

"  In  person,"  he  says,  "  the  emperor  was  robust  and  strong,  and 
of  great  height,  for  he  measured  seven  of  his  own  feet.*  His  head 
was  round,  his  eyes  large  and  animated ;  his  nose  somewhat  exceeded 
moderate  proportions;  his  grey  hair  was  beautiful  to  behold,  and  his 
countenance  joyous  and  cheerful,  whence  his  figure  derived  peculiar 
dignity  and  charm.  He  had  a  firm  step,  and  a  perfect  manly  bearing. 
He  practised  riding  and  hunting  incessantly,  according  to  the  cus- 
tomary habits  of  his  nation,  for  scarcely  a  people  existed  upon  earth 
that  could  rival  the  Franks  in  these  arts.  Besides  this,  he  was  such 
a  skilful  swimmer,  that  none  could  justly  be  said  to  surpass  him. 

"He  enjoyed  constant  good  health,  with  the  exception  of  the 
last  four  years  of  his  life,  when  he  was  frequently  attacked  by 
fever,  which  at  last  occasioned  him  to  limp  slightly  on  one  foot. 
During  these  attacks,  he  continued  nevertheless  to  follow  his  own 
counsel,  rather  than  the  advice  of  his  doctors,  with  whom,  in  fact, 
he  was  sorely  vexed,  for  they  prohibited  him  from  eating  roasted 
meat,  which  he  himself  considered  the  most  wholesome  of  all  food. 

"  He  was  exceedingly  temperate  in  both  eating  and  drinking, 
but  especially  so  in  the  latter,  for  intoxication  was  his  abhorrence, 
in  any  person,  and  particularly  in  his  own  palace.  His  daily  meal 
consisted  of  four  dishes  only,  exclusive  of  the  roasted  joint,  which 
his  yagers  or  squires  brought  upon  the  spit,  and  which  he  preferred 
and  relished  before  every  other  dish.  During  his  meals  he  listened 

*  A  staff  or  lance  of  iron  has  been  preserved,  which  is  said  to  give  the  exact 
height  of  Charlemagne,  and  according  to  which  he  measured  six  feet  three  inches 
by  the  Rhenish  measurement. 


•with  great  pleasure  to  the  lays  of  his  minstrels  on  the  lute,  or  to  a 
reader,  the  subjects  sung  or  read  being  always  the  histories  and 
events  of  heroic  men.  He  also  took  much  delight  in  the  books 
of  St.  Augustine,  particularly  in  those  on  the  divine  government  of 

"  In  summer  it  was  his  custom  after  dinner,  to  enjoy  a  little  fruit, 
and  to  drink  once ;  then  to  undress  himself  as  at  night,  and  thus 
repose  for  three  or  four  hours.  His  nights  were  very  restless,  not 
merely  by  his  awaking  up  several  times,  but  likewise  by  his  getting 
up  from  his  couch  and  walking  about.  During  his  toilet,  not  only 
were  his  friends  admitted,  but  likewise,  if  his  Count  Palatine  had 
to  present  to  him  any  appeal,  which  could  not  be  decided  without 
his  opinion  and  determination  thereupon,  he  forthwith  caused  the 
disputants  to  be  brought  before  him,  and  then  investigated  the  affair 
and  gave  judgment  at  once. 

"  His  dress  consisted  of  the  national  costume,  and  was  but  little 
different  from  that  of  the  common  people.  He  wore,  next  his  skin, 
a  linen  shirt,  over  which  a  garment  with  a  silken  cord,  and  long 
hose.  His  feet  were  enclosed  in  laced  shoes,  and  in  winter,  for  the 
protection  of  his  shoulders  and  chest,  he  wore  a  waistcoat  of  otter 
skin.  As  upper  garment,  he  wore  a  mantle,  and  had  always  his 
sword  girded  on,  the  haft  and  defence  of  which  were  of  gold  and 
silver;  and  at  times  he  wore  a  sword  inlaid  with  jewels,  but  only 
on  particular  festivals,  or  when  he  gave  audience  to  foreign  ambas- 
sadors. His  raiment  likewise,  on  these  occasions,  was  of  golden  cloth, 
and  he  wore  a  crown  adorned  with  gold  and  precious  stones.  Fo- 
reign dress,  even  the  most  beautiful,  he  disliked  and  despised,  and 
would  never  clothe  himself  in  such;  except  when  at  Rome,  where, 
firstly  at  the  express  wish  of  Pope  Adrian,  and  secondly,  at  the  re- 
quest of  Leo,  his  successor,  he  wore  a  dress  with  a  long  train,  and  a 
broad  mantle,  with  shoes  made  according  to  the  Roman  fashion. 

"  Charles  possessed  a  style  of  rich  and  flowing  eloquence,  and 
whatever  he  wished,  was  expressed  by  him  in  the  most  clear  and 
concise  manner.  He  did  not  content  himself  with  his  mother  tongue 
alone,  but  applied  himself  industriously  to  the  acquirement  of  the 
classical  and  foreign  languages  generally.  Of  the  former,  he  was  so 
perfectly  master  of  the  Latin,  that  he  spoke  it  equally  as  well  as  his 
native  tongue  ;  and  the  Greek,  although  he  did  not  speak  it,  he 
nevertheless,  perfectly  well  understood,  and  was  so  proficient  in  it, 
that  he  could  himself  have  become  its  teacher.  He  practised  the 
superior  arts  very  zealously,  and  was  extremely  liberal  in  the 
honours  and  rewards  he  conferred  upon  their  professors.  In  learn- 
ing grammar,  he  had  the  attendance  of  the  venerable  deacon,  Peter 
of  Pisa ;  and  in  other  sciences,  his  instructor  was  Albin,  with  the 
surname  of  Alcuin,  who  was  a  native  of  Britain,  but  of  Saxon  origin; 
a  very  learned  man,  and  Charles  devoted  much  labour  and  time 
in  acquiring  from  him  a  knowledge  of  astronomy.  He  also  endea- 



voured  to  attain  the  art  of  writing,  and  was  even  accustomed  to 
Lave  his  tablets  under  his  pillow  in  bed,  so  that  when  he  had  a 
leisure  moment  he  might  practise  his  hand  in  the  imitation  of 
letters.  In  this,  however,  owing  to  his  commencing  it  at  so  late  a 
period,  he  made  but  little  progress. 

"  The  minster  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  which  is  of  extreme  beauty,  is  a 
monument  of  his  love  for  the  arts,  as  also  of  his  great  piety,  and 
which  he  caused  after  he  had  it  built,  to  be  ornamented  with  gold 
and  silver,  together  with  windows,  lattices,  and  gates  of  solid  brass. 
He  had  all  the  pillars  and  marble  stones  used  for  its  construction, 
brought  from  Rome  and  Ravenna,  as  he  could  not  obtain  them  in 
any  other  quarter.*     His  piety  displayed  itself  in  the  support  of  the 
poor,  and  in  gifts  and  donations  which  he  sent  to  distant  lands  across 
the  sea,  and  wherever  he  heard  Christians  to  be  in  want ;  and  thence 
it  was  that  he  sought  the  friendship  of  princes  ruling  in  those  dis- 
tant countries,  in  order  that  some  portion  of  nourishment  might  be 
dispensed  to  the  Christians  living  under  their  dominion.     It  was  thus 
he  maintained  a  cordial  friendship  with  Aaron,   the  King  of  the 
Persians  (Haroun  al  Raschid,  Caliph  of  Bagdad),  who  ruled  over 
nearly  the  whole  of  the  east,  with  the  exception  of -India.     When, 
therefore,  Charles  sent  his  envoys  with  rich  offerings  to  the  holy 
tomb  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour,  they  were  not  only  very  kindly  re- 
ceived by  Aaron,  but,  on  their  return,  he  sent  with  them  his  own 
ambassador  to  accompany  them  to  the  court  of  Charles,  and  who 
conveyed  from  him  the  choicest  of  the  shawls,  spices,  and  other  costly 
rarities  of  the  east,  as  presents  to  the  emperor,  to  whom  be  it  men- 
tioned, he  had  already,  in  proof  of  their  good  understanding,  sent 
some  few  years  previously,  the  only  elephant  he  then  had  in  his  pos- 

From  another  source  we  learn  that  this  elephant,  which  was  called 
Abulabaz,  or  the  destroyer,  by  its  monstrous  and  unexampled  size, 
amazed  the  whole  world,  and  was  Charles's  especial  favourite ;  and  that 
among  the  presents  sent  with  it  there  was  a  costly  tent,  together  with 
a  clock  made  of  brass  with  astonishing  skill  and  ingenuity.  This  latter 
contained  a  hand  or  indicator  moved  round,  during  twelve  hours,  by 
the  power  of  water,  together  with  an  equal  quantity  of  brass  balls 
which,  when  the  hours  were  completed,  dropped  into  a  brass  cup 
placed  beneath,  by  their  fall  indicating  the  hour,  upon  which  mounted 
knights,  fully  armed,  according  to  the  number  of  hours,  galloped 
forth  from  twelve  windows — a  work  assuredly  of  great  and  extraor- 
dinary ingenuity  for  that  period.  Charles,  on  his  part,  made  presents 
in  return  to  the  Persian  ruler,  of  Spanish  horses,  mules,  and  fresian 
mantles,  which  in  the  east  were  very  rare  and  expensive,  and  finally, 

*  The  church  of  the  Virgin  Mary  and  the  imperial  palace  are,  as  far  as  we  know, 
the  first  extensive  buildings  founded  by  a  German  prince.  Charles's  structures 
are  based  upon  the  Roman  style  of  North  Italy  and  South  France,  whence  he  pro- 
cured his  architects.  The  palace  in  Aix-la-Chapelle  has,  with  the  exception  of  a 
few  remaining  stones,  entirely  disappeared,  but  St.  Mary's  church  still  exists. 


were  added  to  these  a  number  of  dogs  for  hunting  the  lion  and  tiger, 
unsurpassed  for  swiftness  and  ferocity. 

We  have  previously  mentioned  his  friendly  connexion  with  the 
emperor  in  Constantinople,  and  his  amicable  relations  with  the  princes 
of  England  and  Scotland,  by  whom  he  was  highly  esteemed;  and 
thus  the  impression  of  his  personal  greatness  was  reflected  throughout 
the  age  in  which  he  lived,  as  well  in  the  descriptions  given  by  those 
who  were  about  him,  as  also  in  the  veneration  of  distant  nations. 
His  own  grandson,  Nithard,  who  has  described  the  disputes  of  the 
sons  of  Louis  the  Pious,  says  of  him  with  great  justice:  "  Charles, 
justly  called  by  all  nations  the  great  emperor;  a  man  who  by  true 
wisdom  and  virtue  rises  so  high  above  the  human  race  of  his  own 
age,  that  whilst  he  appears  to  all  equally  awe-striking  and  amiable, 
is  at  the  same  time  universally  acknowledged  to  be  wonderful  and 

In  the  subsequent  generations,  still  filled  with  veneration  towards 
him,  his  figure  became  so  eradiated  by  tradition  and  fiction,  that  its 
proportions  appear  gigantically  magnified.  Thus,  for  instance,  in  a 
legend  of  Low  Germany  he  is  described  as  follows:  "  The  Emperor 
Charles  was  a  handsome,  tall,  strong  man,  with  powerful  arms  and 
legs :  his  face  was  a  span  and  a  half  long,  and  his  beard  a  foot  in 
length.  His  eyes,  to  those  at  whom  he  attentively  looked,  appeared 
so  bright  and  searching,  that  the  effect  therefrom  was  to  strike  with 
awe  and  terror;  whilst  his  strength  was  so  mighty,  that  with  one 
hand  he  could  raise  a  fully-armed  man  above  his  head." 

Another  ancient  chronicle  says  of  his  expedition  against  Desi- 
derius:  "When  the  Longobardian  king  from  his  castle  in  Pa  via 
observed  the  entire  body  of  the  Frankish  army  in  full  march  against 
him,  his  eye  searched  everywhere  among  the  ranks  to  find  the 
king.  At  length  the  majestic  monarch  appeared  to  view,  mounted 
on  his  war-horse  (which  both  in  durability  and  colour  resembled 
iron  itself),  with  a  brazen  helmet  on  his  head,  his  entire  lofty  figure 
encased  in  iron  armour,  and  a  shining  breast-plate  spread  over  his 
chest.  In  his  left  hand  he  held  his  heavy  iron  spear,  and  his  right 
grasped  his  massive  sword;  and  when  at  this  moment  Nosker,  a  noble, 
exiled  by  Charles,  and  who  was  standing  near  the  King  of  the  Lon- 
gobardians,  pointed  to  him,  and  said,  *  Behold,  O  king,  there  is  he 
whom  thou  hast  sought,'  Desiderius  almost  fell  to  the  ground  in 
wonder  and  dread,  faintly  exclaiming,  '  Away,  away !  Let  us 
descend  and  bury  ourselves  in  the  earth  from  the  wrathful  counte- 
nance of  that  terrible  and  mighty  foe  !'  " 

As  a  testimony  that  the  admiration  excited  by  true  greatness  ex- 
tends far  beyond  the  present  and  immediately  succeeding  periods, 
and  maintains  its  estimation  in  all  susceptible  and  glowing  minds, 
even  to  the  latest  ages,  we  will  here  quote  the  opinion  of  a  modern 
writer*  upon  the  character  of  the  great  Charles:  "  The  whole  ap- 

*  M.  Silvern:  "  Abhandlung  liber  Karl  der  Grosse." 
K  2 


pearance  and  bearing  of  the  emperor  evince  the  true  and  original 
model  of  his  energetic  age — full  of  manly,  yet  cheerful  virtue.  Com- 
bined with  the  exuberance  of  power,  which  remodelled  an  entire 
world,  were  united  mildness  and  placidity,  and  writh  all  his  dignity 
and  elevation,  we  find  consorted,  simplicity,  purity  of  mind,  and  a 
profound  and  noble  fire  of  feeling.  The  mixture  of  serenity  and 
childlike  mildness  in  his  deportment  was  the  mystery  whereby  he 
filled  all  at  the  same  time  with  veneration  and  love ;  retaining  in 
faithful  adherence  to  him  even  those  who  had  been  severely  provoked, 
so  exquisitely  shown  by  the  act  of  the  noble  Frank,  Isenbart,  who, 
although  deprived  by  Charles  of  all  honours  and  possessions,  be- 
came, nevertheless,  the  unexpected  but  sole  saviour  of  his  life  when 
threatened  with  great  danger.  There  lay  in  the  fire  of  his  piercing 
eye  so  much  power,  that  a  punishing  glance  prostrated  the  object,  so 
that  to  him  might  be  applied  the  words  of  scripture :  '  The  king  when 
he  sits  upon  the  throne  of  his  majesty,  chases  by  a  glance  of  his  coun- 
tenance every  evil  thing;'  whilst  in  the  thunder  of  his  voice  there  was 
such  force,  that  it  struck  to  the  earth  whomsoever  he  addressed  in  an- 
ger. On  the  other  hand,  again,  we  find  that  his  countenance  reflected 
such  unutterable  pleasure  and  gladness,  and  his  voice  was  so  har- 
monious and  of  such  delightful  clearness,  that  a  writer  styles  him 
the  joyful  king  of  the  Germans,  assuring  us  that  he  was  always  so 
full  of  grace  and  gentleness,  that  he  who  came  before  his  presence  in 
sorrowful  mood,  was  by  a  mere  look  and  a  few  words  so  completely 
changed,  that  he  departed  joyful  and  happy.  In  his  countenance 
was  reflected  the  full  expression  of  a  tranquil  and  clear  mind,  and  in 
all  these  outlines  of  his  character  he  is  the  perfect  ideal  of  a  true  Ger- 
man hero  and  prince,  worthy  to  be  called,  what  he  really  was,  the 
father  and  creator  of  the  Germanic  age,  which  he  brought  upon  the 
stage  of  history,  after  it  had  attained  ripeness  and  perfection  in  the 
womb  of  humanity.  It  was  not  merely  in  his  works  and  external 
creations  that  he  founded  the  Germanic  age,  but  its  greatness  and 
simplicity,  its  heroism  in  war  and  friendship  in  peace,  were  ingrafted 
in  his  profound  soul  entire !" 

We  have  already  spoken  of  his  friendship  with  Pope  Adrian, 
founded  on  mutual  esteem,  and  his  paternal  devotion  to  Einhard. 
But  to  none  was  he  attached  so  affectionately  as  to  Angilbert,  or 
Engelbert,  a  young  man  of  noble  family,  who  was  his  constant  com- 
panion in  all  his  travels  and  campaigns,  and  to  whom  he  confided 
his  most  important  affairs.  Engelbert  was  an  excellent  poet,  and 
for  some  time  appointed  prime  minister  in  Italy;  he  then  became 
Charles's  private  secretary,  and  likewise  married  his  daughter 
Bertha,  from  which  marriage  descended  the  before-named  histo- 
rian, Nithard.  Charles  was  a  reverential  son  to  his  mother  Ber- 
trande,  a  faithful  brother  to  his  only  sister  Gisla,  and  of  his  consorts 
he  chiefly  loved  the  second,  Hildegarde,  who  bore  him  his  three  sons, 
besides  three  daughters.  He  caused  his  children  to  have  the  best 
education,  and  he  even  dedicated  much  of  his  own  time  to  them 


with  paternal  watchfulness.  His  sons  learnt  not  only  all  chivalric 
accomplishments,  but  studied  also  the  sciences.  The  daughters  were 
taught  to  work  in  wool,  sewing,  and  spinning,  according  to  the 
prevalent  simple  German  custom.  He  never  took  his  meals  without 
his  children;  they  accompanied  him  in  all  his  travels,  his  sons  riding 
beside  him,  and  his  daughters  following  him.  His  heart  was  so  at- 
tached to  these,  that  he  could  never  prevail  upon  himself  to  part 
with  them.  He  superintended  his  domestic  economy  most  care- 
fully. To  him  even,  the  legislator  of  an  extensive  empire,  it  did 
not  appear  too  trifling  to  overlook  with  prudent  care  his  estates 
and  farms,  so  that  any  father  of  a  family  might  have  learnt  from 
him  how  to  regulate  his  household  affairs.  Some  of  his  laws  are 
still  extant,  and  therein  we  find  especially  indicated,  how  many  of 
every  description  of  domestic  animals,  and  how  many  peacocks  and 
pheasants  shall  be  reared  and  maintained  for  ornament  on  his  farms ; 
as  likewise  how  wine  and  beer  were  to  be  prepared,  and  how  the 
cultivation  of  bees,  fisheries,  orchards,  and  plantations,  was  to  be 

"  If  Charles's  general  greatness  impresses  us  with  reverence  and 
admiration,"  so  says  the  modern  historian  of  his  life,  "this  partici- 
pation in  the  inferior  concerns  of  life,  not  smothered  by  higher  cares, 
brings  him  more  closely  in  connexion  with  us;  this  especial  care  of 
the  domestic  hearth,  so  peculiar  to  the  genuine  German,  wherein  he 
has  grown  up  as  the  plant  in  the  earth  which  bears  and  nourishes  it, 
whilst  his  active  power  strives  outwards  into  the  world  of  deeds  and 
works,  and  his  bold  mind  soars  towards  heaven,  as  the  plant  shoots  its 
blossom  forth  towards  the  sun."  And  in  truth,  Charles's  mind  was 
directed  towards  the  light  of  truth ;  he  was  animated  with  the  love  of 
the  glorious  and  the  beautiful,  and  planted  both  wherever  he  was  able, 
and  by  all  the  means  in  his  power.*  He  had  formed  with  the  wise 
Englishman,  Alcuin,  and  other  learned  men  a  scientific  society,  and  he 
maintained  with  them  a  regular  correspondence,  which  w^as  rendered 
more  free  and  intellectual,  inasmuch  as  a  happy  idea  from  Alcuin  ena- 
bled it  to  be  conducted  without  any  interference  with  personal  rela- 
tions. The  communications  were  not  made  in  the  ordinary  names  of 
the  members,  but  in  those  of  adoption,  in  which  Charles  himself  bore 
the  name  of  King  David,  his  friend  Engelbert  that  of  Homer,  Alcuin 
that  of  Horace,  Eginhard  that  of  Bezaleel,  and  the  rest,  other  equally 
select  names,  whence  the  cheerful  disposition  of  this  union,  breaking 
the  restrictive  chains  of  ordinary  life,  sufficiently  displays  itself.  Its 
immediate  purpose,  besides  the  cultivation  of  both  the  ancient  lan- 
guages, may  possibly  have  been  to  reanimate  and  draw  forth  from  its 
obscurity  the  ancient  German  language  and  its  poetry.  Charles  himself 

*  As  regards  the  benefits  produced  by  Charles's  zeal  for  education  and  science,  we 
find  already  that  in  the  years  650  to  770,  there  were  in  Germany  and  France  some 
twenty-six  writers,  whilst  in  the  years  770  to  850,  there  were  already  in  Charles's 
kingdom  more  than  one  hundred. 


either  sketched,  or  caused  to  be  sketched,  a  German  grammar,  gave 
to  the  months  and  the  seasons  German  names,  and  collected  the  abo- 
riginal songs,  wherein  were  recited  the  noble  deeds  and  the  wars  of 
ancient  heroes  (as  formerly  Lycurgus  and  Pisistratus  collected  the 
songs  of  Homer).  But  there  is  not  a  more  affecting  trait  of  his  own 
love  for  the  sciences  extant  than  that  already  related,  when  in  ex- 
treme age  he  endeavoured  carefully  to  accustom  his  once  powerful 
hand,  which  had  been  used  only  to  wield  the  sword,  to  the  practice  of 
writing,  and  that  even  during  the  sleepless  hours  of  the  night.  And 
how  far  he  esteemed  educated  and  scientific  men  is  proved,  besides  the 
instances  already  cited,  by  his  example  shown  towards  the  Longobardian 
historian,  Paul  Diaconus.  He  was  private  secretary  to  King  Deside- 
rius,  and  after  the  latter  was  conquered,  the  former  participated  in  the 
subsequent  revolt  of  the  Lombards,  upon  which  he  was  sentenced  to 
have  his  hands  chopped  off.  Charles,  however,  interfered  and  said, 
"  If  these  hands  are  chopped  off  who  will,  like  him,  be  able  to  write 
us  such  charming  histories  ?"  and  accordingly  he  pardoned  him. 
The  learned  Alcuin,  already  mentioned — in  possessing  whom  at  his 
court  Charles  felt  more  pride  than  in  having  a  kingdom — had  been 
previously  provost  of  the  high  school  of  York  in  England,  where 
almost  all  the  learned  men  of  that  period  had  received  their  educa- 
tion and  had  imbibed  their  zeal  for  the  sciences,  and  which  contained 
one  of  the  few  then  existing  libraries  of  the  west  of  Europe.  In 
793  he  was  induced  by  the  repeated  entreaties  of  the  king  to  go  over 
to  France,  where  he  founded  the  celebrated  school  of  Tours.  Charles 
esteemed  him  so  much  that  he  called  him  his  beloved  instructor  in 
Christ,  and  presented  him  as  his  friend  to  the  grand  imperial  diet 
and  church  convocation  at  Frankfort.  And  Alcuin  proved  himself 
worthy  of  this  honour,  for  when  all,  from  fear  or  doubt,  were  silent, 
he  alone  candidly  told  the  king  the  truth.  The  correspondence  of 
Charles  with  Alcuin  is  worthy  of  high  estimation,  and  of  which, 
happily,  we  still  possess  a  considerable  portion.  Charles,  on  his  part, 
there  expresses  the  greatest  respect  and  friendship  for  Alcuin,  and 
the  latter  is  full  of  true  affection,  nay,  at  times,  of  inspiration  to- 
wards his  king  and  friend.  Charles's  wife  and  his  sons  and  daughters, 
received  instruction  from  Alcuin,  and  he  was  styled  by  them  all  their 
master  and  father,  he,  on  his  part,  calling  them  his  sons  and  daughters. 
Combined  with  his  anxiety  for  the  affairs  of  the  church,  Charles 
likewise,  with  proper  foresight  and  penetration,  felt  deep  interest  for 
the  instruction  of  the  people;  thence,  wherever  it  was  possible,  he 
founded  schools  and  investigated  their  progress  with  great  solicitude 
himself.  It  is  related  that  he  once  entered  the  school  which  was 
established  at  his  own  court,  and  examined  the  studies  of  the  boys. 
The  skilful  he  placed  on  his  right  and  the  unskilful  on  his  left, 
and  then  it  was  found  that  the  latter  consisted  chiefly  of  the  sons  of 
noble  families.  Charles  then  turned  to  the  industrious  class,  praised 
them  much,  and  assured  them  of  his  particular  regard;  the  others  he 
admonished  and  scolded  severely,  threatening  them,  notwithstanding 


their  noble  descent,  to  reduce  them  to  the  lowest  rank  in  the  school 
unless  they  speedily  repaired,  by  zealous  industry,  the  negligence 

The  study  of  the  Latin  tongue  was  especially  promoted  by  Charles 
for  the  sake  of  the  church ;  but,  at  the  same  time,  he  acknowledged 
the  value  of  the  Greek  language,  as  he  proved  by  founding  in  Osna- 
burg  a  Greek  school.  In  a  royal  decree  addressed  to  all  monas- 
teries, in  which  he  exhorts  them  to  apply  themselves  to  the  sciences, 
he  says  expressly,  that  he  has  been  led  to  make  this  exhortation,  be- 
cause their  communications  are  written  in  such  bad  Latin.  Another 
important  result  arising  from  the  scientific  labours  of  Charles  and  his 
friends,  was  the  establishment  of  libraries  in  the  chief  schools.  Al- 
cuin  laid  the  foundation  of  such  a  one  in  the  school  at  Tours,  by  send- 
ing scholars  to  York  for  the  purpose  of  making  copies  from  the  books 
there,  and  thus  "  transplanting  the  flowers  of  Britain  to  Franconia." 
This  example  was  soon  followed,  the  desire  to  possess  books  awoke, 
the  office  of  extracting  from  writings  now  became  a  favourite  occu- 
pation and  duty  in  the  monasteries  and  schools,  and  indeed,  we  have 
to  thank  this  industry  of  the  copyists  for  what  has  been  preserved  to 
us  from  ancient  times.* 

The  sacred  dignity  of  divine  worship  concerned  him  much ;  he  gave 
himself  particular  trouble  to  introduce  a  good  psalmody,  and  caused 
for  that  purpose  organ  players  and  singers  to  come  frpm  Italy;  and 
at  Soissons  and  Metz  he  instituted  singing  schools.  Besides  this,  he 
ordered  a  number  of  good  sermons  by  the  Greek  fathers  to  be  trans- 
lated into  the  Frankish  tongue,  and  read  to  the  people  ;|  and  he 
made  a  general  regulation,  that  sermons  should  be  preached  in  the 
national  language,  for  King  Charles  well  knew  that  civil  order  re- 
posed upon  the  religious  and  moral  dignity  of  the  people,  and  with- 
out which  it  can  have  no  solid  basis.  He  considered  church  and 
state  not  as  separated  from,  or  inimical  to  each  other,  but  conceived 
that  they  both  had  one  great  aim,  that  of  the  ennoblement  and  per- 
fection of  mankind.  He,  therefore,  in  his  extensive  empire,  linked 
both  these  institutions  still  more  closely  together. 

Even  under  the  earlier  Frankish  kings,  the  clergy  formed  an  es- 

*  Alcuin  took  especial  pains  to  form  and  establish  classes  for  the  improvement 
and  perfection  of  writing.  In  Tours,  Fulda,  and  Treves,  particular  and  distinct 
halls  were  appropriated  for  transcribers,  provided  with  inscriptions,  which  impressed 
upon  the  mind  the  important  duties  of  a  writer.  In  fact,  the  art  of  writing  in  books 
and  ancient  documents  appears,  under  Charles,  to  have  undergone  a  change,  com- 
pletely sudden,  in  improvement.  For,  to  the  unsightly  Merovingian  style  of  italic 
character  previously  in  use — even  to  the  first  years  of  Charles's  reign — we  find  suc- 
ceeding, as  it  were,  with  one  spring,  a  fine  and  legible  form  of  round  hand,  called 
the  Carolingian  minuskel,  or  neatly  reduced  writing.  This  style  became  the  legiti- 
mate  source"  whence  we  derived  all  our  present  forms,  both  in  writing  and  printing, 
in  German  as  well  as  Latin.  In  the  coins  of  the  year  774,  we  likewise  find  displayed 
an  improvement  equally  striking,  thus  showing  that,  even  in  minor  objects,  the 
great  Charles  operated  efficaciously. 

f  He  directed  Paulus  Diaconus  to  prepare  extracts  from  the  fathers,  in  the  form 
of  a  collection  of  homilies  throughout  the  year.  This  collection,  from  the  usual 
opening  of  the  pieces,  "  post  ilia,"  received,  subsequently,  the  name  postille. 


sential  portion  of  the  constitution  of  the  kingdom.  The  bishops, 
as  well  as  the  dukes,  participated  in  state  affairs,  and  had  a  seat  and 
voice  in  the  national  assembly.  Charles  made  this  a  fixed  principle, 
and  this  raised  the  clerical  body  to  rank  as  one  of  the  orders  of  the 
state.  The  constitution  had  already  now  formed  two  of  its  chief 
orders,  that  of  the  clergy  and  nobility;  the  civil  order,  as  the  third 
component,  did  not  yet  exist;  later  centuries  brought  it  to  perfection, 
and  thereby  completed  the  constitution  of  the  state.  But  it  was  im- 
portant for  that  period,  that  the  feudal  nobility,  which  had  already 
become  too  powerful,  should  receive  a  counterbalance  in  the  clerical 
order,  which  must  necessarily  become  the  preservation  of  Christian 
cultivation  throughout  Europe,  and  thereby  unite  Europe  into  one 
great  whole.  Besides,  Charles  felt  himself  sufficiently  powerful  to 
fear  no  misuse  of  such  spiritual  influence  in  his  realms.  Although  he 
increased  the  possessions  and  the  consideration  of  the  clergy,  he  yet 
maintained  his  imperial  power  so  much  above  them,  that  his  quick 
eye  was  everywhere  feared,  so  much  so,  that  one  of  his  historians 
calls  him  the  bishop  of  bishops. 

We  frequently  find  in  his  decrees  reproaches  made  against  the 
clergy,  when  they  commenced  exceeding  the  limits  of  their  power, 
and  many  of  his  laws  generally  allude  to  an  ameliorated  state  of  dis- 
cipline amongst  the  ecclesiastical  body,  to  a  restraint  being  put  to 
their  worldliness,  and  commanding  them  to  perform  the  duties  of  their 
office  with  zeal  and  activity.  In  fact,  he  may  be  regarded  as  the  true 
reformer  of  the  clergy,  especially  when  we  refer  to  the  condition  of 
that  body  under  the  Merovingians.  Of  the  tithes  which  were  to  be 
paid  to  the  church,  he  appointed  for  the  bishops  one  fourth,  for  the 
inferior  clergy  one  fourth,  for  the  poor  one  fourth,  and  for  the  church  it- 
self one  fourth,  especially  towards  the  building  of  fresh  edifices.  And 
as  these  taxes  were  altogether  hateful  alike  both  to  the  Franks  and 
Saxons,  he  at  once  set  the  example  himself  of  subscribing  to  them, 
by  having  them  levied  equally  upon  the  royal  estates.  They  were 
rendered  less  obnoxious  and  more  moderate  likewise  by  his  subse- 
quent decrees,  that  all  church  offices,  such  as  baptisms,  communions, 
and  burials,  should  be  performed  gratuitously. 

With  respect  to  the  administration  of  the  state,  Charles  dispensed 
with  the  power  of  the  grand  dukes  as  governors  of  entire  provinces,  and 
divided  the  latter  into  smaller  districts,  causing  them  to  be  ruled  by 
counts,  whose  chief  occupation  was  the  superintendence  of  the  judi- 
cial office ;  but  the  dignity  of  count  was  not  hereditary.  The  dukes, 
whom  he  himself  appointed,  were  merely  his  lieutenant-generals  ii 
war  and  leaders  of  the  arriere  ban  of  a  province.  Besides  which  he 
despatched,  as  often  as  he  thought  it  necessary,  royal  envoys  (missi 
regii)  into  the  provinces,  who  inspected  their  condition,  and  exa- 
mined how  they  were  governed,  and  were  obliged  to  draw  up  writ- 
ten reports  thereof.  These  envoys  consisted  generally  of  a  bishop 
and  a  count,  as  the  proceedings  of  the  spiritual  as  well  as  temporal 
administrators  were  to  be  examined  at  the  same  time.  The  distrk L 


of  a  Missus  was  called  Missaticum.  When  any  person  believed 
lie  had  experienced  an  avoidance  in  law  from  the  count,  he  could 
appeal  to  the  Missus ;  and  again  from  this  there  was  an  appeal  to  the 
Comes  palatii.  The  appointment  of  the  judges  in  the  courts  was  re- 
moved from  the  power  of  the  counts  by  Charles,  and  transferred  to 
the  Missus. 

He  expressly  and  earnestly  exhorted  all  his  officials,  and  par- 
ticularly the  judges,  to  the  fulfilment  of  their  duties,  as  in  fact  the 
grand  endeavour,  shown  throughout  his  entire  government,  had  for 
its  object  the  improvement  of  the  administration  of  justice,  and  es- 
pecially the  protection  of  the  poorer  classes  and  the  common  free  peo- 
ple, against  the  pressure  of  the  higher  ranks.  It  seemed  as  if  in  the  lat- 
ter period  of  his  reign  he  had  more  and  more  perceived  the  danger 
with  which  the  common  freedom  of  his  subjects  was  threatened  by  the 
feudal  system.  All  administration  of  justice,  however,  was  in  vain. 
He  was  forced  himself  to  attend  in  person,  twice  in  the  year,  national 
assemblies  or  diets,  the  one  in  spring,  called  the  May  field  (Campus 
Madius)  in  which  the  king,  with  his  estates,  gave  the  decisions ;  the 
other  in  autumn,  composed  of  the  most  distinguished  of  his  nobles  and 
confidential  friends,  with  whom  he  regulated  the  most  urgent  mat- 
ters, and  prepared  those  affairs  to  be  settled  at  the  ensuing  May  meet- 
ing. The  regulations  made  at  these  diets,  particularly  those  passed  in 
the  Spring  meetings,  which,  after  their  division  into  chapters,  became 
known  under  the  name  of  capitulars,  produced  for  the  entire  king- 
dom a  great  combining  power. 

The  envoys,  each  in  their  division,  called  together  the  communi- 
ties four  times  every  year,  who,  besides  attending  to  their  own 
matters,  had  to  approve  and  confirm  the  resolutions  passed  at  the 
grand  assemblies,  if  they  concerned  the  interests  of  the  people:  so 
little  power  had  the  king  and  his  nobles  to  affect  or  alter  their  rights. 
Thus  by  means  of  all  these  institutions  Charles,  who  was  still  greater 
as  a  legislator  than  a  warrior,  was  enabled  to  keep  in  order  without 
garrisons  and  a  standing  army,  all  the  people  subjected  to  obedience, 
as  well  as  his  whole  extensive  empire,  although  composed  of  such  a 
variety  of  nations.  He  himself  remained  within  the  boundaries  of 
the  constitution,  honoured  the  laws,  listened  willingly  to  the  voice 
of  his  people,  and  showed  in  every  thing,  but  especially  in  this,  his 
noble  genius  and  magnanimity,  and  the  dignified  superiority  of  his 




Louis  the  Pious,  814-840 — Division  of  the  Empire  among  his  Sons,  Louis,  Lothaire, 
and  Charles  the  Bald,  843— The  German  Sovereigns  of  the  Race  of  the  Carlo- 
vingians,  843-911 — Louis,  or  Ludwig,  the  German — Charles  the  Eat — Arnulf — 
Louis  the  Child — The  later  and  concluding  Period  of  the  Carolingians — Conrad  I. 
of  Franconia,  911-918. 

AFTER  the  race  of  the  Carolingians  had  produced  consecutively 
four  great  men — a  rare  occurrence  in  history — its  energy  seemed  to 
become  exhausted.  Louis  the  Pious  did  not  resemble  his  ancestors. 
However,  his  personal  appearance  was  by  no  means  insignificant,  for 
he  is  described  as  well  made,  with  a  prepossessing  countenance,  of  a 
strong  frame,  and  so  well  practised  in  archery  and  the  wielding  of 
the  lance,  that  none  about  him  equalled  him.  But  he  was  weak  in 
mind  and  will,  and  his  by-name,  "  the  Pious,"  implies  not  only  that 
.he  was  religious,  but  principally  that  he  was  so  easy  tempered,  that 
it  required  much  to  displease  him.  A  ruler  of  this  description  was 
not  adapted  to  hold  in  union  the  vast  empire  of  his  father;  neverthe- 
less, the  chief  misfortunes  of  his  whole  life  arose  solely  from  his  own 

He  had  three  sons  by  the  first  marriage,  Lothaire,  Pepin,  and 
Louis ;  and  he  very  early  divided  his  empire  between  these  three,  re- 
taining for  himself  nothing  but  the  title  of  emperor.  He,  however, 
soon  afterwards  espoused  as  second  consort,  Judith,  of  the  family  of 
the  Guelfs,  who  bore  to  him  his  fourth  son,  Charles,  and  was  a  proud, 
ambitious  woman,  who  would  willingly  have  transferred  all  to  her 
own  child.  Upon  her  persuasion  Louis  was  induced  to  take  a  portion 
of  the  countries  from  his  other  sons,  and  give  it  to  Charles.  Where- 
upon open  war  arose  between  the  emperor  and  his  children,  who 
took  their  father  twice  prisoner.  The  last  time  it  occurred  was  near  Col- 
mar,  in  Alsace,  and  because  most  of  the  nobles  of  Louis's  suite,  who 
had  sworn  allegiance  to  him,  passed  over  to  his  sons,  the  place  has  re- 
tained the  name  of  Lligenfeld,  or  the  Field  of  Lies.  The  good-natured 
Louis,  turning  to  those  who  remained  still  with  him,  said,  "  Go  ye,  also, 
to  my  sons ;  I  will  not  allow  that  even  a  single  individual  lose,  on  my  ac- 
count, life  or  limb."  They  wept  and  departed,  and  Louis  fell  again  into 
the  hands  of  his  sons.  Lothaire,  who  was  the  worst  among  them,  had 
him  conveyed  to  a  cloister  at  Soissons  in  France,  and  urged  him  so 
incessantly,  until  he  at  last  resolved  to  do  public  penance  in  the 
chapel.  Lothaire's  object  in  this  was,  that  his  father  might  thereby 
be  made  incompetent  to  take  arms,  for  it  was  ordained  by  the 
canon  law,  that  any  one  who  had  done  penance  was  rendered  inca- 
pable of  bearing  arms,  and  the  Franks  could  not  endure  among  them 
a  king  without  a  sword. 

The  pious  Louis,  who  was  easily  persuaded  that  his  own  sins  were 
the  cause  of  all  his  misfortunes,  absolutely  allowed  himself  to  be 
conducted  into  the  chapel  of  the  monastery,  and  after  he  had  been 


divested  of  his  sword  and  military  accoutrements,  he  was  clothed  in 
a  sack  of  penance,  and  was  forced  to  read  a  paper  aloud,  whereon 
his  son  and  his  accomplices  had  inscribed  all  his  sins,  thus:  "  That 
he  had  unworthily  filled  his  office,  frequently  offended  God,  vexed 
the  church,  was  a  perjurer,  .the  originator  of  dissensions  and  turbu- 
lences, and,  at  last,  had  even  wished  to  make  war  upon  his  sons."  And 
whilst  he  made  this  confession,  the  clergy,  consisting  of  the  Arch- 
bishop Ebbo,  of  Rheims,  whom  Louis  himself  had  raised  from 
a  servitor  to  an  archbishop,  and  with  him  thirty  bishops,  spread  out 
their  hands  over  him,  and  chanted  penitential  psalms ;  Lothaire 
himself  sitting  close  by  upon  a  throne,  and  feasting  his  eyes  upon  the 
degradation  of  his  father,  who  was  immediately  afterwards  led  away 
in  the  garment  of  repentance,  and  immured  within  a  solitary  cell, 
where  he  was  left  to  remain,  without  any  consolation. 

This  misusage  of  the  emperor  enraged  his  son,  Louis  of  Bavaria, 
who  was  afterwards  called  Ludwig  the  German,  and  who  was  the  best 
of  the  sons ;  he  conferred  with  his  brother  Pepin,  and  they  forced 
Lothaire  to  emancipate  their  father,  who  was  formally  absolved  by 
the  bishops,  and  received  from  their  hands  his  sword  and  accoutre- 
ments back  again. 

But  his  misfortunes  had  not  made  him  wiser,  for,  on  the  contrary, 
he  allowed  himself  to  he  immediately  persuaded  by  Judith  to  prefer 
his  son  Charles  before  the  rest,  and  to  give  him  his  most  beauti- 
ful countries,  causing  him  to  be  crowned  King  of  Neustria.  He 
treated  his  best  son,  Louis,  the  worst,  who  consequently,  in  his  irri- 
tation, seized  arms  against  his  father,  and  the  old  king  could  nowhere 
find  a  tranquil  spot  for  his  death-bed ;  for,  as  he  was  proceeding  to 
Worms,  to  hold  a  diet  there  against  his  son,  and  was  just  passing 
over  the  Rhine,  near  Mentz,  he  suddenly  felt  his  quickly-approach- 
ing end.  He  remained  upon  an  island  of  the  Rhine,  near  Ingelheim, 
caused  a  tent  to  be  there  pitched  for  him,  and  sank  down  upon  his 
death-bed.  He  pardoned  his  son  before  his  death,  in  these  words: 
"  As  he  cannot  come  to  me  to  offer  satisfaction,  I  acquit  myself  thus 
towards  him,  and  take  God  and  all  of  you  to  witness,  that  I  forgive 
him  every  thing.  But  it  will  be  your  office  to  remind  him,  that 
although  I  have  so  often  pardoned  him,  he  must  not  forget  that  he 
has  brought  the  grey  hairs  of  his  father  to  the  grave  in  bitter  grief." 
Thus  died,  in  the  year  840,  King  Louis,  who  was  of  a  kind  dis- 
position, but  whose  life  was  one  continued  scene  of  trouble  and 
affliction,  because  he  knew  not  how  to  govern  his  own  house, 
much  less  his  empire. 

The  most  celebrated  acts  of  his  life  consist  in  the  foundation  of  two 
religious  institutions;  viz.,  the  monastery  of  Corvey,  and  the  arch- 
bishopric of  Hamburg.  The  first  originated  from  the  cloister  of  the 
same  name,  at  Amiens  in  France.  It  was  hither  that  Charlemagne 
caused  many  of  the  imprisoned  Saxons  to  be  brought,  that  they 
might  be  instructed  in  the  Christian  religion,  and  become  thereby 
the  future  teachers  of  their  fellow-countrymen  in  the  same  doc- 
trines. Louis  the  Pious  caused  a  religious  colony  of  these  Saxons  to 


settle  in  their  native  country,  on  the  Weser,  and  lie  commenced 
building  the  new  monastery  as  early  as  the  year  815.  It  was  com- 
pleted in  822,  and  the  abbey  was  enriched  with  many  crown  endow- 
ments.  It  speedily  became  the  best  school  for  education  in  that  country. 

Louis  founded  the  archbishopric  of  Hamburg  in  832,  principally 
for  the  conversion  of  the  heathens  of  the  north.  The  first  bishop  was 
Ansgar,  from  the  abbey  of  Corvey,  one  of  the  most  zealous  propa- 
gators of  the  Christian  religion,  and  who  had  already  taught  the 
doctrine  in  Denmark  and  Sweden.  But  Hamburg,  unfortunately, 
was  destroyed  by  the  Romans,  in  845,  on  which  account  the  arch- 
bishopric was  transferred  to  Bremen. 

The  brothers,  who  had  not  hesitated  to  take  up  arms  against 
their  own  father,  could  much  less  remain  united  among  themselves. 
In  particular,  Lothaire  assumed,  as  emperor,  great  privileges  over 
his  brothers.  Louis  and  Charles,  Pepiii  being  already  dead,  conse- 
quently armed  themselves  against  him ;  and  as  he  would  not  agree 
to  a  treaty  of  peace,  a  battle  was  fought  in  841,  near  Fontenay,  in 
France.  It  was  very  sanguinary;  forty  thousand,  according  to 
others  a  hundred  thousand,  men  were  left  on  the  field.  Lothaire 
was  conquered,  and  his  great  pretensions  were  thus  dissipated,  and 
in  consequence,  in  the  course  of  two  years,  an  important  treaty  took 
place,  which  divided  the  great  Frankish  empire,  and  separated  Ger- 
many for  ever  from  France.  This  is  called  the  treaty  of  Verdun, 
concluded  on  the  llth  of  August,  843. 

1.  Louis  received  Germany  as  far  as  the  Rhine;  and  across  the 
Rhine,  Mentz,  Spires,  and  Worms,  for  the  sake  of  the  culture  of  the 
vine  (propter  vini  copiam),  as  it  is  said  in  the  original  record.     Thus 
were  united  all  the  countries  wherein  a  pure  German  race,  unmixed 
with  the  Romans,  had  remained,  and  the  Germans  may  consider 
the  treaty  of  Verdun  as  a  great  national  benefit.     For  had  that 
country  remained  united  with  France,    and  had  the  king  made 
Paris,  perhaps,  the  metropolis,  or  even  changed  about  in  the  chief 
cities  of  that  country,  it  is  probable  that,  in  the  course  of  time,  a 
ruinous  mixture  of  the  German  and  French  languages,  manners,  modes 
of  life,  and  idiosyncracies  of  the  two  nations  would  have  taken  place. 

2.  Lothaire  retained  the  imperial  dignity  and  Italy,  and  acquired 
besides,  a  long  narrow  strip  of  land  between  Germany  and  France, 
from  the  Alps  as  far  as  the  Netherlands,  namely,   the  country  of 
Valais  and  Vaud  in  Switzerland,  the  south-east  of  France,  as  far  as 
the  Rhone;  and  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  Alsace,  and  the 
districts  of  the  Moselle,  Meuse,  and  Scheldt.     This  long  and  narrow 
strip  between  the  two  other  brothers  was  probably  apportioned  to 
the  emperor  that  he  might  be  near  them  both,  and  that  according  to 
the  wish  of  the  father  and  grandfather,  the  imperial  control  might 
tend  to  preserve  the  unity  of  the  whole.     It  likewise  seemed  that 
Italy  and  the  ancient  city  of  Rome,  as  well  as  ancient  Austrasia, 
namely,  the  Rhenish  districts,  which  Charlemagne  had  selected  for 
his  residence,  with  his  capital,  Aix-la-Chapelle,  were  not  separable 
from  the  imperial  dignity.  But  although  Lothaire  received  beautiful 


and  productive  provinces,  yet  his  portion  was  the  weakest,  for  his  empire 
on  this  side  of  the  Alps  had  no  natural  frontiers,  either  in  mountains 
or  in  a  distinct  national  race.  The  inhabitants  of  his  countries  on  the 
Rhone  and  down  the  Rhine  were  composed  of  very  different  tribes ; 
thence  as  there  was  no  natural  necessity  for  this  division  of  coun- 
tries, it  was  merely  produced  by  human  caprice,  consequently,  there 
was  no  durability  in  it.  On  the  contrary,  it  became  the  source  of  great 
misfortune.  After  the  Emperor  Lothaire,  pursued  as  it  were  by  the 
spirit  of  his  injured  father,  against  whom  he  had  chiefly  offended,  had 
laid  down  the  sceptre  and  retired  into  a  convent,  where  he  died  in  862, 
his  three  sons  took  up  arms  in  contest  for  the  land,  and  divided  it 
among  themselves ;  but  neither  of  them  transmitted  it  to  his  descend- 
ants. The  countries  of  Burgundy,  Alsace,  and  the  province  of  Lor- 
raine proper,  which  Lothaire  II.  had  received,  and  which  had  from 
him  received  its  name  was,  after  his  early  death,  divided  by  his  two 
uncles,  Louis  the  German,  and  the  French  king,  Charles;  so  that 
the  land  to  the  east  of  the  Meuse,  with  the  cities  of  Utrecht,  Aix-la- 
Chapelle,  Liege,  Metz,  Treves,  Cologne,  Strasburg,  Basle,  &c.,  fell 
to  Germany.  But  this  division  did  not  terminate  the  dispute  for  the 
Lorraine  inheritance,  for  it  has  remained  through  every  century 
a  bone  of  contention  between  the  Germans  and  the  French,  and  many 
sanguinary  wars  have  taken  place  in  consequence. 

3.  Charles  the  Bald,  received  lastly,  the  western  division  of  the 
whole  Frankish  kingdom,  and  which  has  continued  to  preserve  its 

Louis  the  German  (840 — 876),  who  was  an  energetic  prince,  of  lofty 
stature  and  noble  figure,  with  a  fiery  eye  and  a  penetrating  mind,  and 
who  also  possessed  an  active  disposition  for  education  and  science 

Ssrhich  the  schools  of  eloquence  that  he  founded  at  Frankfort  and 
atisbonne  have  proved),  had  constantly  to  con  tend  for  the  tranquillity 
of  his  realm ;  for  the  Slavonian  tribes  made  incursions  on  the  eastern 
frontiers,  and  the  Normans  on  the  north  and  north-west.  These  bold 
sailors,  of  ancient  German  origin,  wild  as  their  sea  and  its  northern 
coasts,  coming  from  the  Norwegian,  Swedish,  and  Danish  waters, 
appeared  with  the  rapidity  of  the  wind,  at  the  mouths  of  the  rivers, 
and  frequently  advanced  deep  into  the  country.  They  ascended  the 
Seine  as  far  as  Paris,  flew  along  the  Garonne  to  Toulouse,  and  sailed 
up  the  Rhine  to  Cologne  and  Bonn.  And  it  was  not  the  banks  merely 
of  these  rivers  which  suffered  from  their  devastations,  but  they  knew 
also  how  to  convey  their  vessels  many  thousand  paces  across  the 
country  into  other  rivers,  so  that  no  place  afforded  security  against 
them.  So  great  was  the  terror  of  their  name,  that  the  mere  report 
of  their  coming  drove  to  flight  all  before  them.  Their  numbers  were 
generally  small,  for  a  fleet  of  the  small  ships  of  that  period  could  not 
convey  large  armies;  but  their  courage,  as  well  as  their  strength  of 
body  and  their  weapons,  testified  to  their  true  northern  origin ;  whilst 
in  wielding  the  powerful  spear,  no  race  equalled  them.  A  few  ships, 
manned  with  valiant  men,  formed  frequently  the  equipment  of  their 
royal  princes ;  and  as  in  ancient  Germany,  a  noble  leader  with  his  com- 


pany,  in  bold  excursions,  acquired  honour  and  booty,  and  with  his 
suite,  even  contested  for  the  possession  of  a  whole  country;  so,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  squadron  of  the  bold  sea-hero,  manned  with 
warlike  and  pillage-seeking  adventurers,  was  the  source  of  his  riches, 
forming  often  the  moving  basis  upon  which  he  erected  his  king- 
dom. It  was  thus  they  founded  similar  kingdoms  in  Normandy, 
France,  Sicily,  and  in  Russia.  Louis  the  German  succeeded  in 
protecting  his  kingdom  against  them,  and  against  the  Slavonians, 
but  not  so  his  son,  Louis  the  Fat  (876 — 887),  who,  after  the  death 
of  his  brothers,  Carloman  and  Louis,  by  the  intervention  of  particu- 
lar circumstances,  again  united  for  a  short  time  the  three  portions  of 
the  Frankish  empire,  in  Italy,  Germany,  and  France.  In  France, 
there  was  a  minor  king,  Charles  the  Simple,  six  years  of  age,  for 
whom  he  was  to  have  protected  the  country  against  the  Normans ; 
but  not  possessing  the  qualifications  necessary,  this  he  was  not  able 
to  do,  and  thence  he  was  forced  twice  to  purchase  peace  from  them 
at  the  price  of  many  pounds  of  gold :  the  first  time  when  they  had 
advanced  upon  the  Meuse  as  far  as  HaslofF,  and  the  second  time 
when,  with  700  vessels,  they  had  ascended  the  Seine  as  far  as  Paris 
itself,  and  closely  besieged  that  city.  Such  cowardly  conduct,  and 
the  weakness  of  his  whole  government,  brought  him  into  contempt, 
and  was  the  cause  which  produced  his  formal  deposition,  in  a  great 
and  national  assembly  held  at  Tribur  in  the  year  887.  To  his  great 
good  fortune,  he  died  the  following  year. 

In  Germany  he  was  succeeded  (887 — 899)  by  Arnulf,  a  son  of 
his  brother  Carloman,  consequently  a  grandson  of  Louis  the  Ger- 
man, a  valiant  and  worthy  king.  He  beat  the  Normans  at  Louvain, 
in  the  Netherlands,  where  they  had  erected  a  fortified  camp,  which 
victory  made  him  very  celebrated,  for  those  Normans  formed  the 
most  valiant  race  of  the  north,  and  had  never  previously  been  known 
to  fly  before  an  enemy.* 

Arnulf  now  marched  also  into  Italy  to  bring  that  disunited  coun- 
try— where  many  pretenders  contested  for  supremacy — again  under 
German  dominion.  He  advanced,  in  896,  as  far  as  Rome;  but  his 
army  had  been  so  much  weakened  by  sickness  and  foul  weather, 
that  he  dared  not  attempt  to  attack  the  strong  walls  of  the  city,  and 
was  about  to  turn  back.  Upon  this,  the  Romans  hooted  and  in- 
sulted the  Germans  so  grossly,  that,  without  awaiting  the  word  of 

*  About  this  time,  in  the  south-eastern  frontiers  of  Germany,  a  Slavonic  prince, 
Zwentibolt,  had  established  a  considerable  dominion  in  Moravia.  In  order  to  gain 
his  friendship,  Arnulf  gave  him  the  vacant  Duchy  of  Bohemia  as  a  fief,  and  chose 
him  as  godfather  to  his  son,  whom  he  named  after  him.  But  the  Moravian  prince 
became  unruly,  and  strove  for  independence;  and  Arnulf  soon  saw  himself  entangled 
in  a  severe  war  against  him.  In  order,  therefore,  to  gain  allies,  he  had  recourse  to 
the  Magyars,  who  rose  against  Zwentibolt,  and,  falling  upon  Moravia,  completely 
overthrew  his  dominion,  and  established  themselves  there  instead,  whilst  the  late 
ruler  withdrew,  and  sought  refuge  in  a  monastery.  Arnulf,  in  order  to  extend  the 
power  of  his  house,  now  took  advantage  of  some  favourable  circumstances  presented 
in  Lorraine,  in  order  to  procure  for  his  son,  Zwentibolt,  the  duchy  of  that  country. 
In  this  he  succeeded,  after  several  encounters  with  the  nobility;  and  in  895  his  son 
took  the  title  of  king,  but  he  held  it  but  for  a  short  time,  being  soon  afterwards  killed 
jn  a  battle  against  his  vassals,  immediately  after  the  death  of  his  father. 


command,  they  turned  back,  advanced,  and,  storming  the  gates, 
filled  the  ditches,  mounted  the  walls,  and  carried  the  city.  The 
Roman  people  were  obliged  to  swear  fidelity  to  him.  But  they 
knew  not  how  to  observe  the  oath  they  took ;  and  as  they  had  not 
been  able  to  overcome  the  powerful  Germans  by  open  force,  they  had 
recourse  to  poison ;  thence  Arnulf  was,  most  probably,  secretly  drugged 
by  them,  for  he  returned  ill  to  Germany,  and  died,  after  a  long  sick- 
ness, in  the  year  899,  much  too  early  for  his  kingdom,  and  mourned 
by  all  Germans ;  for  he  was  yet  young,  and  Germany  never  more 
than  at  that  moment  required  his  powerful  arm. 

A  new  savage  tribe,  in  ferocity  equal  to  the  ancient  Hunns,  had 
now  fixed  themselves  in  Hungary,  and  extended  their  incursions  to 
Germany.  They  were  properly  called  Madschari  or  Magyars,  and 
belonged  to  the  Calmuc  race  of  the  Asiatic  wanderers,  but  they  were' 
called  Hunns  (also  Hungarians,  after  the  country  they  henceforward 
occupied),  because  it  was  then  customary  to  call  all  those  tribes  Hunns 
who  were  savage  and  terrible  to  behold,  and  who  came  from  the 
east.  They  also,  like  the  former  Hunns,  lived  always  on  horse-back, 
and  suddenly  appeared  where  they  were  not  awaited.  They  unex- 
pectedly attacked,  and  as  suddenly  fled,  and  in  flying  they  always  shot 
their  arrows  backwards,  and  turned  quickly  round  when  all  was  con- 
sidered safe.  They  shot  their  arrows  from  bows,  formed  of  bone, 
with  so  much  force  and  precision,  that  it  was  scarcely  possible  to 
avoid  them ;  but  they  were  ignorant  of  the  art  of  fighting  at  close 
quarters,  or  of  besieging  cities.  They  were  small  in  stature,  ugly  in 
countenance,  with  deep  sunken  eyes,  of  barbaric  manners,  and  with 
a  coarse  and  discordant  language;  so  that  an  ancient  writer  who 
lived  at  that  period,  says:  "  We  must  be  astonished  that  Divine  Pro- 
vidence should  have  given  so  delightful  a  country  to  be  inhabited 
— not  by  such  men,  but  by  such  monsters  in  human  shape !" 

These  terrific  enemies  desolated  in  an  unheard-of  manner  the 
German  countries,  during  the  period  when  Arnulf 's  son,  Louis  the 
Child,  who  was  still  a  minor,  was  called  King  of  Germany  from  the 
year  899-911.  These  were  probably  the  most  miserable  years  that 
Germany  had  ever  witnessed.  With  almost  every  year  these  Hun- 
garians suddenly  precipitated  themselves  in  masses  upon  one  or 
other  of  the  provinces,  desolated  it  with  fire  and  sword,  and  drove 
thousands  of  the  inhabitants  back  with  them  as  slaves,  whilst  the 
Germans,  valiant  as  they  were,  knew  not  the  mode  of  conducting 
such  a  war,  and  could  not  defend  themselves;  besides  which,  they 
possessed  as  yet  no  walled  towns  wherein  they  might  have  shel- 
tered their  wives  and  children.  Bavaria  was  first  attacked  by 
them,  and  made  a  prey  to  their  devastations,  and  all  the  court  and 
nobles  cut  to  pieces.  The  following  years  the  same  happened  to 
Saxony  and  Thuringia,  and  the  two  concluding  years  Franconia 
and  Suabia  were  in  turn  devastated.  The  words  of  Solomon  may 
be  applied  to  these  horrors  of  Germany:  "Woe  to  the  country 
whose  king  is  a  child."  But,  fortunately  for  the  salvation  of  his  own 
and  other  countries,  this  child  now  died  early  in  the  year  911. 


After  the  race  of  the  Carolingians,  which  had  commenced  with 
so  much  lustre,  became  extinct  in  Germany,  it  still  existed  a  short 
time  longer,  although  but  weak,  and  without  any  power  or  autho- 
rity in  France;  it  soon,  however,  disappeared  there  also — like  a  tor- 
rent which  at  first  springs  forth  majestically,  and  dashes  down  all 
before  it,  but  at  last  dividing  itself  into  various  isolated  arms,  its 
power  becomes  reduced,  and  gradually  absorbed  by  the  sand. 

Meanwhile  in  Germany  much  had  become  changed  that  proved  of 
great  importance  to  futurity.  Charles  the  Great,  as  we  have  seen, 
made  the  royal  power  superior  to  all  other;  he  did  away  with  the 
great  dukes'  reigning  over  entire  provinces,  and  substituted  royal 
officials,  with  smaller  circuits  of  government ;  and  had  his  successors 
followed  his  example  in  this,  the  system  might  have  been  established 
in  Germany,  as  it  was  in  France  and  other  countries — namely,  that 
but  one  lord  should  rule  with  unlimited  power  throughout  the 
whole  empire,  and  no  prince  besides.  But  fate  ordered  it  other- 
wise, and  caused  many  rulers  to  spring  up  among  us,  which  has 
given  an  impulse  to  the  development  and  cultivation  of  the  German 
mind,  and  has  been  only  then  not  dangerous  to  the  country  with 
respect  to  its  exterior  relations,  when  all  who  called  themselves  Ger- 
mans held  together  in  love  and  unity,  and  in  that  disposition  con- 
stituted a  firm  and  solid  German  empire. 

The  foundation  of  this  polygarchy,  or  division  of  dominions,  may 
be  traced  chiefly  to  the  times  subsequent  to  the  treaty  of  Verdun. 
On  almost  all  sides  formidable  enemies  threatened  the  frontiers :  the 
Hungarians,  the  Slavonians,  the  Venedians,  and  the  Normans.  The 
kings  themselves  were  unfortunately  too  weak,  and  unable,  like 
Charlemagne,  to  fly  with  assistance  from  one  end  of  the  realm  to 
the  other.  They  were  therefore  obliged  to  permit  and  authorize 
the  German  tribes,  for  the  defence  of  the  frontiers,  to  choose 
powerful  chiefs  raised  among  themselves,  who  continued  to  remain 
at  the  head  of  their  troops,  and  led  them  against  the  enemy.  The 
efforts  made  to  establish  a  fresh  foundation  for  the  ducal  power,  be- 
comes more  and  more  visible  in  the  last  moiety  of  the  ninth  century 
and  very  soon  we  find  the  royal  Missi  or  Margraves,  together  with 
other  proprietors  of  land,  and  influential  men,  raising  themselves  to 
the  ducal  dignity. 

It  lies  in  the  nature  of  things,  that  the  development  of  these  rela- 
tions could  not  be  everywhere  the  same.  We  find  often  the  go- 
vernor of  a  province  still  called  in  the  old  records  Graf  (Comes), 
because  he  already  possessed  more  of  the  ducal  power  than  in 
another  province  was  commanded  by  him  who  was  ordinarily  styled 
Dux.  All  research  made  into  this  subject  is  extremely  difficult, 
and  opinions  thereupon  are  even  yet  not  united.  Thus  much  is 
certain,  that  if  we  consider  and  acknowledge  in  general  those 
governors  as  owners  of  the  ducal  power,  who  possessed  an  over- 
balancing influence  in  their  provinces,  and  who  represented  the 
king  himself  in  war,  and  in  the  highest  courts  of  jurisdiction,  we 
find  that,  at  the  end  of  the  ninth  and  commencement  of  the  tenth 


century,  they  again  appear,  and  gradually  became  dukes  of  Saxony, 
Thuringia,  Franconia,  Bavaria,  Swabia,  and  Lorraine. 

In  Saxony,  the  Ludolphic  race,  as  it  appears,  acquired  at  a  very 
early  date  a  power  which  we  may  call  ducal.  Eekbert,  related  to  the 
house  of  Charlemagne,  was  placed  by  the  latter  at  the  head  of  all 
the  Saxons  between  the  Rhine  and  Vistula,  as  count  and  chief 
of  the  heerbann;  his  son  Ludolph  held  also  this  rank,  and  pos- 
sessed, in  effect,  already  ducal  power.  His  son  Bruno,  and,  after 
his  death,  in  880,  Otho,  the  father  of  King  Henry,  must  be  con- 
sidered in  every  sense  as  dukes.  Saxony  became,  by  degrees,  the 
most  powerful  and  extensive  duchy,  for  it  embraced,  at  the  time  of 
its  greatest  development,  the  country  from  the  Lower  Rhine  to  the 
Oder,  and  from  the  North  Sea  and  the  Eider  to  the  Fichtel  moun- 
tains and  the  Wetterau. 

Thuringia  had,  it  is  true,  counts  also,  who  at  times  were  called 
herzoge  (duces  limitis  Sorabici) ;  but  their  power,  owing  to  the  fre- 
quent changes  occurring  among  the  owners,  did  not  completely 
form  itself  into  a  ducal  power.  Burchard,  whom  we  find  mentioned 
as  duke,  fell  in  908,  against  the  Hungarians;  his  power  was  trans- 
ferred to  Otho  of  Saxony,  who  already  possessed  a  province  giving 
him  the  title  of  count  (Gaugrafschaft)  in  the  northern  part  of  Thu- 
ringia. King  Henry  retained  Thuringia  united  with  his  duchy. 

In  Franconia,  which  besides  the  ancient  Frankish  land  on  the 
Lower  Rhine,  comprised  likewise  Hessia  and  the  countries  of  the 
Central  Rhine,  the  title  of  duke  could  not  otherwise  appear  then 
much  later,  because  the  country,  as  long  as  the  kings  continued  of 
the  Frankish  family,  was  considered  kings'  land ;  still  the  administra- 
tion of  the  country  was  performed  by  powerful  counts,  and  two 
families,  the  Babeiibergerians  in  the  eastern,  and  the  Conradinians 
at  Worms,  in  the  western  part,  divided  the  power,  until  they  broke 
out  into  a  deadly  dispute  and  fight,  in  which  the  former  were  com- 
pletely defeated.  Count  Conrad,  soon  afterwards  King  Conrad  I., 
became,  therefore,  potentissimus  comes  in  Franconia,  and  possessed 
in  reality  ducal  power.  Widukind  styles  him  likewise  Duke  of  the 
Franks,  although  he,  as  well  as  his  brother  Eberhard,  is  called  by 
others  also  comes.  It  cannot,  however,  be  doubted  but  that  under 
Henry  I.  Eberhard  possessed  the  ducal  dignity. 

In  Bavaria,  Luitpold,  who  had  to  defend  the  eastern  frontiers 
against  the  Slavonians  and  Hungarians,  is  styled  dux  in  a  diploma 
of  King  Louis,  of  the  year  901,  and  his  son  Arnulf  calls  himself  duke 
in  the  year  908. 

In  Swabia,  where  the  defence  of  the  frontiers  was  not  so  necessary, 
the  ducal  dignity  appears  to  have  connected  itself  gradually  with  the 
power  of  the  royal  missus,  and  to  have  developed  itself  later.  Bur- 
chard,  however,  under  Conrad  I.  appears  nevertheless  as  Duke  of 

In  Lorraine  finally,  it  became  more  easy  to  the  nobles  of  the  land 



by  means  of  its  doubtful  and  critical  position  between  France  and 
Germany  in  the  later  Carolingian  period,  to  maintain  a  state  of 
greater  independence,  and  we  thus  find  upon  record  already  in  the 
year  901  a  Duke  Kebehart,  and  later,  under  King  Henry,  the  Duke 

The  dukes  were  not,  it  is  true,  regarded  as  lords  of  their  people 
and  lands,  but  as  ministers  and  representatives  of  their  king,  in  whose 
name  they  regulated  in  peace  the  affairs  of  justice  and  order,  and 
in  war  led  the  army  of  their  race  to  battle.  But  soon  becoming 
large  landed  proprietors,  and  being  no  longer  under  the  surveil- 
lance of  royal  envoys,  the  dukes  took  advantage  of  the  weakness 
of  the  kings,  and  by  degrees  arrogated  to  themselves  an  increase  of 
power,  and  brought  the  lesser  vassals  under  their  dominion ;  nay, 
they  even  gradually  made  their  dignity,  granted  to  them  only  as 
imperial  crown  officers,  hereditary  in  their  families,  as  well  as  the 
revenues  of  the  crown  lands,  which  they  had  only  received  as  the 
salary  for  their  service. 

Like  the  great  dukes,  the  inferior  imperial  officers,  the  counts, 
margraves,  and  others,  established  themselves  more  and  more  firmly 
in  their  dignities,  and  the  estates  attached  thereto.  The  spiritual 
lords,  archbishops,  bishops,  and  abbots,  were,  like  the  temporal  lords, 
members  and  vassals  of  the  empire,  and  like  them  augmented  their 
secular  power  and  possessions;  and  all  these  became  by  degrees 
from  the  mere  deputies  of  royal  authority,  independent  princes  of 
the  German  nation. 

Besides  this,  in  some  individuals,  the  love  of  freedom  and  per- 
sonal independence  began  already,  as  early  as  this  period,  to  dege- 
nerate often  into  licence.  He  who  thought  himself  offended  by 
another,  and  conceived  he  possessed  sufficient  strength  to  revenge 
himself,  did  not  seek  the  establishment  of  his  rights  in  the  usual 
way,  namely,  through  the  judges  of  the  land,  but  with  arms  and  the 
strength  of  the  fist.  Thence  that  period  wherein  the  appeal  to  the 
fist  was  so  generally  adopted,  was  called  the  period  of  the  faust-recht, 
the  fist  or  club  law.  It  commenced,  already,  under  the  later  Carolin- 
gians,  but  it  was  long  afterwards  that  it  reached  its  highest  extent. 

The  evil  became  necessarily  great,  for  the  manners  of  the  nation  were 
still  rude.  Arms  and  the  chace  remained  their  favourite  occupations, 
and  the  sword  and  the  falcon  were  the  greatest  treasures  of  the  Ger- 
man. He  could  calmly  see  all  taken  from  him,  says  an  author,  but 
if  his  sword  and  falcon  came  into  any  danger,  he  would  not  hesitate 
to  save  them  even  with  a  false  oath.  The  hunting  fetes  were  superb, 
and  were  included  among  the  highest  festivities  of  life.  Ladies,  from 
gorgeously  ornamented  tents,  beheld  the  destruction  of  the  game.  In 
the  evening  they  feasted  under  tents  in  the  forest,  and  the  company, 
with  their  suites,  returned  amidst  the  music  of  the  hunting  horns. 
For  the  sake  of  the  chace,  the  kings  and  nobles  preferred  remaining 
at  their  country  seats,  and  on  this  account  for  a  long  time,  despis 
dwelling  in  cities. 


During  the  later  period  of  the  Carolingians,  besides  the  wars 
within  and  beyond  the  land,  which  they  so  much  desolated,  what 
was  greatly  to  be  deplored  was,  that  the  germs  of  cultivation  which 
Charlemagne,  in  his  exertions  for  science,  had  planted  in  his  schools 
for  instruction,  became  again  almost  entirely  destroyed.  No  period  in 
the  whole  history  of  Germany  is  darker,  more  superstitious  and  igno- 
rant, than  that  of  Louis  the  German,  to  the  end  of  the  Carolingian  dy- 
nasty, and  a  short  time  beyond  it — despite  of  the  Germans  being,  from 
time  immemorial,  so  susceptible  of  cultivation,  and  by  their  serious 
application  and  profound  meditation  so  well  adapted  for  the  acquire- 
ment of  art  and  science.  An  example  of  this  is  to  be  found  even  in 
that  dark  age.  In  the  days  of  Pepin  and  Charlemagne  the  first  or- 
gans were  brought  to  Germany  from  Greece,  and  Charles  took  every 
pains  to  introduce  the  Latin  psalmody  and  church  music  among  his 
subjects.  At  first  he  had  but  little  success ;  at  least  an  Italian  of  that 
time  complains  that  their  natural  rudeness  was  their  great  obstruc- 
tion: "  Great  in  body  like  mountains,"  says  he,  "  their  voice  rolls 
forth  like  thunder,  and  cannot  be  modulated  into  gentler  tones ;  and 
when  their  barbaric  throats  endeavour  gently  to  produce  the  soft  tran- 
sitions and  flexibilities  of  the  music,  the  hard  tones  pour  forth  their  vo- 
lume in  a  rattling  sound,  like  a  coach  rolling  over  the  stones,  so  that  the 
feelings  of  the  hearer,  which  should  be  gently  moved,  are,  on  the 
contrary,  completely  startled  and  terrified."  Thus  was  pronounced 
originally  a  criticism  upon  their  disposition  and  qualification  for  har- 
mony. And  yet  by  industry  and  exercise  they  advanced  so  far  in  a 
short  time,  that  Pope  John  VIII.,  who  lived  about  the  year  870, 
besought  Anthony,  bishop  of  Freisingen,  to  send  him  a  good  organ 
from  Germany,  and  with  it  a  person  who  was  equally  well  able  to 
play  upon  as  to  make  it. 

In  this  century  a  pupil  of  Rhabanus  Maurus,  the  monk  Otfried  of 
Weissenburg,  gave  a  very  remarkable  example  of  his  love  for  his 
mother-tongue,  by  translating  the  gospel  into  German  verse,  in 
order  that  the  people  might  be  enabled  to  read  it.  Charlemagne 
had,  indeed,  commenced  to  improve  and  cultivate  the  German  lan- 
guage, but  after  him  no  one  thought  further  about  it.  Otfried  now 
zealously  endeavoured  to  make  it  a  written  language,  although  it 
was  very  difficult  to  express  by  letters  its  hard  and  strange  sounds. 
He  strongly  and  justly  contended  against  those  who,  indifferent  to- 
wards their  native-tongue,  preferred  learning,  with  excessive  labour, 
and  using  the  languages  of  the  Latins  and  Greeks.  "  They  call  the 
German  language,"  he  says,  "  boorish,  and  yet  do  not  endeavour  by 
their  writings  or  study  to  make  it  more  perfect.  They  carefully  avoid 
writing  badly  in  Latin  and  Greek,  and  yet  do  not  care  for  doing  so 
in  their  own  language ;  they  are  ashamed  to  offend  against  good 
taste  by  even  a  letter  in  those  languages,  but  in  their  own  tongue  it 
happens  with  every  word.  Truly  a  singular  fact  this,  that  such  great 
and  learned  men  do  all  this  for  the  honour  of  foreign  languages,  and 
yet  cannot  even  write  their  own !" 

L  2 


The  condition  of  the  common  freemen  was  the  saddest  of  all  in 
these  times,  and  they,  consequently,  decreased  so  much  that  they 
scarcely  formed  a  distinct  order  in  the  nation.  Much  earlier, 
already  when  the  feudal  system  gradually  developed  itself,  and  ele- 
vated the  vassals  above  all  those  who  cultivated  their  own  inherit- 
ance, their  numbers  had  decreased  considerably,  but  the  worst  time 
came  after  Charlemagne. 

Charles  knew  well  that  the  strength  of  a  nation  consists  in  the  great 
preponderance  of  freemen,  and  that  it  is  upon  their  courage  and 
their  animated  love  for  their  country  that  must  depend  the  general 
weal  and  its  security  from  all  danger ;  he  therefore  applied  great  care 
and  vigilance  to  the  restoration  of  the  arriere  ban,  which  had  also  by 
the  influence  of  the  feudal  system  fallen  into  disuse.  In  this,  how- 
ever, he  attained  his  aim  but  partially,  because  his  wars,  far  from 
being  real  national  wars,  for  the  defence  of  the  country,  were  only 
conquering  excursions  in  distant  countries.  These  were  very  op- 
pressive to  the  common  man,  who,  from  the  day  that  the  army 
stepped  upon  the  land  of  the  enemy,  was  obliged  to  provide  himself, 
at  his  own  expense,  for  three  months  with  provisions,  as  well  as  with 
clothes  and  arms.  Many,  therefore,  endeavoured  to  avoid  the  duties 
of  this  servile  military  service.  They  gave  themselves  up  both  in 
body  and  possessions  to  the  sendee  or  guardianship  of  the  church, 
or  to  the  patronage  of  a  noble,  either  as  arriere  or  under  vassals,  be- 
cause, as  such,  they  were  not  bound  to  yield  so  much  service  as  to 
the  king  in  the  arriere  ban,  or  even  as  bondmen,  and  as  such  no 
longer  belonging  to  the  class  of  freemen.  They  were  called  the 
Lidi  (Leute,  people)  of  the  seigneur,  and  remained,  it  is  true,  the 
possessors  of  their  own  inheritance,  which  they  themselves  cultivated, 
but  they  were  subject  to  pay  tax,  and  were  held  in  soccage,  and 
could  neither  quit  the  land  nor  sell  it;  but  with  their  children  and 
descendants  they  were  bound  to  the  soil,  and  were  the  property  of 
their  lord.  This  was  severe;  but  they  were  at  the  same  time  ex- 
empted from  doing  any  military  service  in  distant  expeditions;  for, 
as  bondsmen,  they  were  not  considered  worthy  of  bearing  arms,  but 
remained  all  their  lives  in  tranquillity  with  their  families.  At  the 
most  they  were  only  obligated,  under  the  most  urgent  circumstances, 
to  repair  to  a  short  distance,  within  the  immediate  vicinity  of  their  ter- 
ritory, there  to  fight,  on  foot,  with  stick  or  club ;  the  lance  and  sword 
being  forbidden  to  them.  Had  they  rightly  considered  that  men 
who  are  not  allowed  to  bear  arms,  also  speedily  lose  both  courage 
and  power,  and  if  they  are  not  absolutely  called  slaves,  soon  adopt 
slavish  sentiments,  they  would,  no  doubt,  much  rather  have  remained 
poor  and  oppressed,  but  still  freemen  and  warriors;  but,  alas !  in  ne- 
cessity the  nearest  and  most  immediate  aid  appears  the  best  to  him 
who  suffers,  and  the  eye  loses  the  power  of  perceiving  the  distant 

Besides  the  oppressive  service  of  the  arriere  ban,  which  brought 
many  freemen  into  slavery,  there  were  other  causes  which  contribu- 
ted to  decrease  their  numbers,  among  which  may  be  classed  the  ter- 


rific  incursions  of  the  Avari,  the  Normans,  the  Slavonians,  and 
Hungarians,  in  which  thousands  of  them  were  killed  or  carried  off 
as  slaves;  and  later,  the  disorders  and  oppressions  of  thefaust-recht,ox 
club-law,  which  likewise  obliged  many  of  the  poor  freemen  to  give 
themselves  up  to  the  service  of  some  neighbouring  powerful  noble,  to 
secure  themselves  from  the  robberies  of  those  who  made  a  trade  of 
pillage.  Besides,  in  those  times  of  disorder,  when  laying  up  maga- 
zines of  provisions  was  not  thought  of,  countries  were  often  visited 
with  desolating  famine  and  pestilence ;  in  such  necessities  many  free- 
men, that  they  might  not  die  of  starvation,  gave  themselves  up,  with 
their  children  and  property,  to  nobles  or  spiritual  foundations  for 
bread.  And,  lastly,  many  became  servitors  to  cloisters  and  eccle- 
siastical establishments;  and  from  piety,  or  for  the  salvation  of  their 
souls,  they  gave  their  all  to  the  altar  of  God.  For  the  church  already, 
at  this  period,  possessed  and  maintained  the  privileges,  by  which  an 
individual  might  give  to  it  his  whole  possessions,  and  thus  entirely 
pass  by  the  just  inheritors.  Thence,  from  all  these  causes,  it  happened 
that,  at  the  end  of  this  period,  not  only  the  ancient  pride  and  cou- 
rage, but  also  the  majority  of  the  freemen — accordingly  the  inde- 
pendence of  the  Germans — had  disappeared,  and  scarcely  any  but 
noblemen  and  their  feudatories  remained,  thus  threatening  the  coun- 
try with  the  sad  prospect  of  decay  and  ruin.  But  whenever  neces- 
sity has  been  great,  God  has  always  sent  to  the  German  nation  unex- 
pected aid  and  support.  Accordingly,  at  this  moment,  it  was  precisely 
the  devastation  spread  everywhere  by  the  Hungarians  which  laid 
the  foundation  for  the  renewed  elevation  of  the  common  freemen  to 
a  civic  state,  and  re-established  later  the  condition  of  the  peasant. 

After  the  death  of  Louis  the  Child,  the  principal  German  branches 
assembled,  and  looked  about  them  for  the  most  worthy  among  their 
princes  to  be  their  king.  The  election  fell  upon  Otho  the  Illustrious, 
Duke  of  Saxony  and  Thuringia,  who  was  related,  on  the  maternal 
side,  to  the  Carolingians,  and  by  the  power  of  his  house,  as  well  as 
by  age  and  wisdom,  was  held  in  great  esteem  by  all.  On  the  pa- 
ternal side,  he  descended  from  Count  Eckbert,  whom  Charlemagne 
had  placed  in  Saxony  against  the  Normans,  in  810.  Otho,  however, 
refused  the  crown,  because  the  cares  of  the  empire  were  too  great 
for  his  age,  and  advised  rather  that  Conrad,  the  Duke  of  the  Franks 
(according  to  some  writers,  he  was  only  a  count),  be  made  king. 
For  this  act,  Otho  merits  the  greater  praise,  as  Conrad  was  truly 
•worthy  to  rule  as  king,  and  the  race  of  the  Franks  still  continued 
the  most  esteemed  among  the  German  nations ;  for  hitherto  it  was 
from  that  race  that  the  king  had  commanded  over  the  whole  of  Ger- 
many. Otho,  therefore,  wisely  considered  it  better  that  the  rule 
of  the  empire  should  remain  with  them,  and,  in  so  doing,  entirely 
dismissed  from  his  mind  the  enmity  which  always  had,  and  still  par- 
tially existed  between  the  Saxons  and  the  Franks. 

Conrad  was  accordingly  elected  king  on  the  8th  of  November, 


911,  at  Pforzheim.  He  is  described  as  being  a  man  of  great  merit, 
both  at  home  and  abroad ;  valiant  and  prudent,  kind  and  liberal.  His 
first  care  was  to  elevate,  from  its  sunken  state,  the  royal  authority, 
for  upon  it  depended  the  order  of  the  whole  empire.  But  the  confusion 
was  too  great,  and  Conrad's  reign  too  short,  to  render  his  efforts  com- 
pletely successful.  The  Lothringians,  or  Lorrainers,  who  only,  since 
the  time  of  Louis  the  German,  had  belonged  to  Germany,  were  not 
contented  with  his  election,  and  separated  themselves,  nor  could  Con- 
rad bring  them  back  again  to  the  empire.  After  the  death  of  Otho 
the  Illustrious,  he  had  to  contend  with  his  son,  Henry  of  Saxony; 
for,  misguided  by  the  advice  of  Hatto,  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  he 
wished  to  deprive  Henry  of  some  great  fiefs  which  he  owned,  besides 
his  dukedom  of  Saxony,  in  order  that  no  prince  of  the  empire 
should  be  too  powerful ;  probably  these  were  the  northern  districts  of 
Thuringia,  which  Otho  had  already  possessed;  but  Henry  was  va- 
liantly defended  by  his  Saxons.  He  completely  defeated  the  king's 
brother,  Eberhard,  who  had  advanced  against  him  with  an  army, 
near  Eresburg  (now  Stadberg)  so  that  he  retained  the  fiefs  in  the 
subsequent  treaty,  which  terminated  the  war;  nay,  he  even  appears 
to  have  conquered  also  the  southern  portion  of  Thuringia,  and  to 
have  maintained  the  ducal  dignity  over  the  whole  of  Thuringia. 

Conrad  confirmed  Count  Burkhard  in  Swabia,  after  some  contest, 
as  Duke  of  the  Allemanni.  Arnulf  of  Bavaria,  however,  who  also 
revolted,  and  so  far  forgot  himself  as  to  call  in  the  Hungarians  to 
his  assistance,  was  condemned  to  death  by  the  princes  of  the  empire 
as  a  traitor  to  the  country,  and  was  obliged  to  take  refuge  among 
the  Hungarians. 

Thus,  by  energetic  measures  and  timely  concessions,  the  general 
tranquillity  and  imperial  dignity  were  re-established,  and  the  unity 
of  Germany  maintained.  But  Conrad  well  felt  how  difficult  the  task 
was  for  him,  and  that  the  power  of  the  Frankish  dukes  alone  was  not 
sufficient  to  curb  the  over-powerful  nobles.  It  also  required  greater 
strength  to  protect  the  empire  against  the  Slavonians  and  Hunga- 
rians, who  still  repeated,  without  ceasing,  their  incursions.  At  the 
same  time,  perhaps,  he  did  not  perceive  in  his  brother,  Eberhard, 
who  pretended  to  possess  the  greatest  claim  to  the  crown,  the  proper 
qualities  of  a  king;  whilst,  on  the  other  hand,  his  earlier  and  now 
conciliated  opponent,  Henry  of  Saxony,  was,  in  all  respects,  irre- 
proachable, endowed  with  great  energy  of  mind  and  body,  and,  by 
his  power  and  influence,  ranked  at  the  head  of  all  the  German  princes. 
When,  therefore,  Conrad  lay  sick  of  a  wound  at  Limburg,  on  the 
Lahn,  which  he  had  received  in  his  last  expedition  against  the 
Hungarians,  and  felt  death  approaching,  he  thought  of  the  example 
which  Otho  the  Illustrious  had  given  at  his  election,  and  forgetting 
all  jealousy,  and  with  his  thoughts  directed  only  for  the  weal  of  his 
country,  he  called  his  brother,  Eberhard,  to  his  bedside,  and  thus 
addressed  him :  "  We  command,  it  is  true,  great  means,  rny  dear 


Eberhard;  we  can  collect  great  armies,  and  know  how  to  lead  them. 
We  are  not  wanting  in  fortified  cities  and  defences,  nor  in  any  of 
the  attributes  of  royal  dignity.  Yet  greater  power,  influence,  and 
wisdom,  dwell  with  Henry,  and  upon  him  alone  depends  the  welfare 
of  the  empire.  Take,  therefore,  these  jewels,  this  lance  and  sword, 
together  with  the  chain  and  crown  of  the  ancient  kings,  and  carry 
them  to  Henry  the  Saxon.  Be  at  peace  with  him,  that  you  may 
have  him  for  your  constant  strong  ally.  Announce  to  him  that  Con- 
rad, on  his  death-bed,  has  chosen  and  recommended  him  as  king,  in 
preference  to  all  the  other  princes."  He  died  in  December,  918. 

Eberhard  did  what  his  brother  had  commanded,  and  was  the  first 
who  did  fealty  to  King  Henry.  A  kingdom  wherein  such  senti- 
ments were  found,  might  truly  and  without  danger,  remain  electoral 





THE  tenth  century  is  by  no  means  rich  in  historical  works : 

1.  The  chronicle  of  Regino,  already  mentioned  in  the  preceding  epoch,  was  con- 
tinued by  another  writer  as  far  as  the  year  967,  abridged,  but  mostly  careful  and 
exact,  and  altogether  well  written. 

2.  Luitprand  of  Pavia,  private  secretary  to  King  Beranger  II.  of  Italy,  afterwards 
in  the  service  of  King  Otho  I.,  and  finally  Bishop  of  Cremona,  wrote  the  history  of 
his  time  not  without  spirit,  and,  especially  in  his  history  of  Italy,  very  instructive, 
although  partial  and  enthusiastic.     His  style  is  far-fetched  and  bombastic,  showing 
much  of  the  courtier,  and  a  great  love  for  anecdote  and  illustration  in  his  narrative. 
This  history  goes  from  c.  886 — 948,  and  a  supplement  from  961 — 964.     He  wrote 
also,  in  another  distinct  work,  an  account  of  his  embassy  to  the  court  of  the  Em- 
peror  Nicephorus. 

3.  Horoswitha,  a  nun  of  Gandersheim,  wrote  a  poem,  "  De  Gestis  Ottonum  Pa- 
negyris,"  from  919 — 964;  as  the  title  indicates,  a  poem  in  praise  of  Otho  the  Great, 
accordingly  not  always  faithful  to  truth,  arid,  of  course,  partial  or  one-sided;  never- 
theless, not  without  some  proportionate  merit  here  and  there.     She  treats  upon  the 
later  years  rather  fugitively. 

4.  Widukind,  usually  called  Wittekind,  a  monk  of  Corvey,  who  died  about  the 
year  1000,  wrote  a  history  of  the  Saxons  (Rerum  Saxinocarum,  libri  iii.)  as  far  as 
973.     As  the  first  historian  of  his  time,  he  presents  his  record  of  the  events  in  a 
form  equally  agreeable  and  happy,  devoted  to  the  house  of  Saxony,  but  still  with  a 
desire  after  truth;  and  the  second  part  of  his  work  is  of  invaluable  merit.     The  first 
portion  is,  in  part,  based  upon  the  legends  and  traditions  of  the  people. 

5.  Amongst  the  chronicles  on  the  history  of  Germany,  especially  the  relations  of 
the  Lotharingians,  Flodoard  of  Rheims  is  particularly  important,  who  wrote  a  his- 
tory from  919  to  966. 

6.  Richer,  a  monk  of  St.  Remy,  near  Rheims,  studied  medicine,'and  was  a  pupil  of 
the  celebrated  Gesbert;  and  encouraged  by  his  master  to  write  history,  he  com- 
posed, in  the  years  995  to  998,  his  "  Historiarum,  libros  iv.,"  from  888 — 995,  which 
he  dedicated  to  Gesbert.     His  history  is,  for  France,  partial,  and  he  often  adapts  the 
events  to  the  advantage  of  that  country.    Nevertheless,  amidst  the  dearth  of  his- 
torical source  in  his  time,  he  is  certainly  of  great  value.   His  narrative  is  based  upon 
a  close  study  of  the  ancients.    The  middle  ages  being  only  taken  up  by  Ekkehard, 
Richer  was  quite  lost  sight  of,  until  Pertz  discovered  in  Bamberg  the  only  autho- 
graphic  document  still  existing  by  him,  which  has  been  published  in  the  "  Monu- 

7.  Detached  and  extremely  interesting  communications  are  given  to  us  in  the 
biographies  of  Bruno,  Archbishop  of  Cologne,  the  brother  of  Otho  I. ;  of  Udalrich, 
Bishop  of  Augsburg;  and  other  ecclesiastics  of  that  time. 

In  the  eleventh  century,  we  find  more  important  and  a  greater  number  of  historians, 
who,  in  their  descriptions,  distinguish  themselves  especially: 

1.  The  life  of  Queen  Matilda,  written  by  command  of  King  Henry  H.,  by  an  un- 
known author,  between  the  years  1002  and  1014;  agreeably  written,  and  not  unim- 
portant as  regards  the  history  of  Henry  I. 

2.  Ditmar,  or  Thietmar,  Bishop  of  Merseburg,  who  died  in  1018,  wrote  a  history 
of  the  German  kings  from  876 — 1018.     His  narrative  is  confused,  his  language  ob- 
scure, being  neither  pure  nor  agreeable,  and  his  description  in  the  first  books  not 
impartial.     Nevertheless,  he  is  of  great  importance  to  us,  rich  in  information  of  the 
most  varied  nature,  and  forms  our  principle  source  for  the  history  of  Otho  III.  and 
Henry  II.    He  was  a  friend  and  relation  of  the  Saxon  emperors. 

3.  Besides  the  last-mentioned  writer,  we  find  the  best  detailed  and  correct  infor- 

HENRY  I.— RUDOLPHUS  OF  HAPSBURG,  919 — 1273.         153 

mation  respecting  the  end  of  the  tenth  and  commencement  of  the  eleventh  century 
in  the  "  Annales  Quedlinburgensis,"  to  1025. 

4.  The  life  of  Henry  II.  by  Adclbold,  Bishop  of  Utrecht,  is  incomplete,  and  nearly 
all  borrowed  from  Ditmar,  but  well  written.     The  "  Vitae"  of  both  the  Bishops  of 
Hildesheim,  Bern  ward  and  Godehard,  are,  as  regards  the  history  of  Saxony,  of  great 
consequence;  the  Meinwercs  of  Paderborn  merit  being  mentioned  likewise. 

5.  Wippo,  chaplain  to  the  Emperor  Conrad  II.,  whose  life  he  has  written  in  a  pom- 
pous style,  "  Vita  Conradi  Salici."    He  was  a  man  of  science  and  letters,  and  of  a 
remarkable  mind. 

6.  Hermannus  Contractus  (the  lame),  of  the  family  of  the  Counts  of  Vehringen, 
and  a  Benedictine  monk  of  Reicheiiau,  who  died  in  1054.      He  wrote  a  chronicle 
from  1000 — 1054,  continued  to  1100  by  Berthold  and  Bernold,  of  Constance. 

7.  Adam  of  Bremen  (born  at  Meissen,  and  canon  and  rector  of  the  college  of  Bre- 
men), who  died  in  1076.    He  wrote  a  good  ecclesiastical  history  of  the  North,  from 
the  middle  of  the  eighth  century  to  1076;  important  for  the  history  of  North  Ger- 
many, especially  of  the  time  of  Henry  IV. 

8.  Bruno  of  Corvey  (de  Belle  Saxonico),  a  passionate  adversary  of  Henry  IV.,  and 
who  exaggerates  and  disfigures  much;  yet  he  is  important  and  indispensable  for  the 
history  of  the  war. 

9.  Lambert  of  Aschaffenburg,  a  monk  of  Hersfeld,  wrote  a  chronicle  from  the 
earlier  times  to  1077.     A  work  of  great  genius,  full  of  spirit,  well  written,  and  an 
important  source  for  the  period  in  which  he  lived  j  he  is  especially  the  best  historian 
of  the  middle  ages. 

10.  Marianus  Scotus,  who  died  in  1086;  a  monk  of  Fulda  and  Mentz,  who  wrote 
a  chronicle  to  1083,  which  was  continued  by  Dodechin  to  1200. 

11.  Sigbert,  a  monk  of  Gemblours  (Sigeb.  Gemblacensis),  who  died  in  1112,  wrote 
a  chronicle ;  learned,  written  with  great  industry,  and  rich  in  information,  but  which 
is  nevertheless  confused  and  not  altogether  authentic.    His  work  has  been  continued 
by  several  writers,  and  in  the  subsequent  middle  ages  much  resorted  to. 

12.  Ekkehardus  Uraugiensis  wrote  a  chronicle  to  1126,    likewise  very  learned, 
carefully  written,  of  great  value  in  the  particular  history  of  his  own  times,  and  more 
impartial  than  most  of  the  historians  of  that  period,  who  all  wrote  for  or  against  the 
emperors  and  popes.    There  are  several  continuations  of  this  work,  of  which  the 
most  known  is  that  by  the  Abbot  of  Ursperg  (Chron.  UrspergJ  to  1229. 

13.  The  letters  of  the  popes  and  other  distinguished  men,  collected  by  an  ecclesi- 
astic, Ulrich  of  Bamberg,  in  the  twelfth  century,  are  extremely  valuable. 

14.  It  is  likewise  very  interesting,  in  order  to  catch  the  spirit  of  those  times  when 
the  dispute  between  Henry  and  Gregory  excited  the  pens  of  various  distinguished 
men,  to  write  in  defence  of  both  those  parties,  to  know  the  various  controversial 
productions  which  appeared  on  this  subject,  with  the  different  opinions  therein  con- 
tained.     The  partisans  of  the  pope  had  their  central  point  in  the  monasteries 
of  St.  Blaise,  Schaff  hausen,  and  Hirschau  ;  whilst,  however,  many  learned  and  esti- 
mable men,  of  irreproachable  character,  wrote  against  the  pope  and  in  favour  of  the 
emperor.     We  cannot  here  give  the  names  of  these  opposite  writers,  but  their  cha- 
racter will  be  found  fully  drawn  in  Stenzel's  excellent  work  on  the  history  of  Ger- 
many under  the  Frankish  emperors.* 

15.  The  Biography  of  Benno,  Bishop  of  Osnaburg,  a  friend  of  Henry  IV.  by 
Norbert,  Abbot  of  the  Convent  of  Iburg,  which  was  built  by  Benno,  contains  im- 
portant information. 

16.  The  historians  of  the  Crusades  are  more  especially  numerous  ;  the  importance 
of  the  subject,  the  universal  interest  taken  therein,  the  peculiar  nature  of  the  expe- 
dition in  a  foreign  country  and  at  such  a  distance,  together  with  the  surprising  and 
wonderful  deeds  performed,  excited  many,  and  particularly  those  who  were  present, 
to  give  their  records  of  the  scenes  witnessed,  for  the  perusal  of  those  left  behind  at 
the  time  and  their  successors.      The  majority  of  the  chronicles  have  been  collected 
by  Bongars,  under  the  title :  "  Gesta  Dei  per  Francos,  Hanoviae  1611,  fol." 

In  the  twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries,  the  impetus  given  by  the  Crusades  pro- 
duced its  influence,  and  operated  beneficially  upon  the  historians.  They  became 
more  particular  in  the  selection  and  arrangement  of  the  subject-matter,  thus  showing 
a  commencement  in  the  art  of  historical  writing.  Amongst  the  most  distinguished 
writers  are: 

1.  Otho,  Bishop  of  Freisingen,  who  died  in  1158,  son  of  the  Margrave  Leopold  of 

*  Geschichte  Deutschlands  unter  den  Frankischen  Kaisern.      1827-1828. 

154        HENRY  I. — RUDOLPHUS  OF  HAPSBURG,  919 — 1273. 

Austria,  a  philosopher,  of  independent  feeling,  and  full  of  eloquence.  He  wrote  a  uni- 
versal history  to  the  year  1152,  well  continued  as  far  as  1209,  by  Otho  of  Sainte 
Blaise  ;  and  the  Life  of  the  Emperor  Frederic  I.  to  1156,  which  was  continued  as  far 
as  1160  by  Radewich,  Canon  of  Freisingen;  both  works  equally  interesting  and 
learned,  and  written  with  intelligence  and  discernment. 

2.  The  History  of  Frederic  I.  receives  important  elucidations  from  the  Chronicles 
of  Vincenz  of  Prague,  1140—1167;  the  History  of  Lodi  1153—1178,  by  Otho  and 
Acerbus  Morena;  the  History  of  Romuald,  Archbishop  of  Salerno,  to  1168;  the 
Poem  of  Giinther:  Ligurinus  and  the  book  of  the  so-called  Sire  Raul  of  Milan:  "  de 
Eebus  gestis  Frederici  in  Italia." 

3.  The  Chronicle  of  the  Slavi,  by  Helmold,  an  ecclesiastic  of  Lubeck,  to  1170,  and 
"by  Arnold  to  1209 ;  important  for  the  history  of  Henry  the  Lion  and  the  house  of 
the  Guelphs. 

4.  Valuable  information  is  given  upon  the  same  subject  by  Gerhard,  Provost  of 
Stederbuch,  in  his  Chronicles  of  the  Monastery,  and  by  the  Monk  of  Weingarten  hi 
his  book  "  de  Guelfis,"  and  his  Chronicles. 

5.  The  so-called '•  Annalista  Saxo"  and"  Chronagraphus  Saxo,"  mostly  compila- 
tions, but  the  former  for  the  eleventh  and  the  latter  for  the  twelfth  centuries,  in  the 
detail,  are  both  very  interesting. 

Nearly  all  the  bishoprics,  churches,  and  monasteries  of  Germany,  now  received 
their  appointed  historians,  who  we  find  touch  more  or  less  upon  general  matters,  and 
are  often  more  important  than  the  universal  chronicles  selected  for  general  circula- 
tion. Such  are  for  instance: 

6.  Albert  von  Stade,  whose  chronicle  goes  as  far  as  1256,  and  is  continued  by  a 
stranger  to  1324 — also  a  compilation. 

7.  Gotfried  vonViterbo  to  1186;  the  monk  Alberich,  Joh.  Vitoduranus,  &c. 

8.  A  collection  of  letters  by  celebrated  men  of  that  period  is  very  important, 
especially  those  of  Pope  Innocent  III.  and  Petrus  de  Vinea,  Chancellor  of  the  Em- 
peror Frederic  II.,  and  who  died  in  1249. 

9.  The  most  complete  collection  of  letters  to  and  from  the  popes,  of  the  transac- 
tions of  their  ambassadors  and  other  similar  documents,  has  been  preserved  in  the 
archives  of  the  Vatican  in  Rome,  which,  as  maybe  easily  conceived,  are  of  the  highest 
importance  for  the  history  of  this  period,  but  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  gain  access 
to  them.    A  great  part  of  them,  however,  has  been  transcribed  in  Rome  by  Pertz, 
and  already  the  commencement  of  their  publication  has  been  made  in  the  fourth 
volume  of  the  "  Monumenta  Germaniae  Historica." 

10.  A  work  of  very  great  importance  for  the  history  of  the  Emperor  Frederic  II., 
is  the  History  of  England,  by  Matthieu-Paris,  who,  together  with  the  events  of  the 
English  nation  from  1066 — 1259,  treats  also  occasionally  upon  the  affairs  of  the  other 
nations  of  Europe.     So  likewise  various  Italian  historians,  of  whom  we  need  only 
here  refer  especially  to  Richard  de  Saint  Germano  and  Nicolas  de  Jamsilla  (both 
in  the  Collection  of  Muratori). 

11.  All  the  great  writers  who  form  the  source  of  history  have  been  brought  toge- 
ther in  the  great  Collections  of  Duchesne,  Bouquet  (for  France),  Muratori  (for  Italy), 
JSchard,  Reuber,  Urstisius,  Pistorius,  Freher,  Goldast,  Schilter,  Meibom,  Leibnitz, 
Ekkard,  &c.,  (for  Germany). 

p>  12.  Equally  important  as  were  for  the  history  of  the  preceding  epoch  the  collection 
of  the  ancient  laws  of  the  Franks  and  the  nations  subjected  to  them,  are  likewise  for 
the  history  of  the  Middle  Ages  (although  much  abridged^)  the  collections  of  the  later 
laws,  known  under  the  names  of  the  Sachsenspiegel  or  Mirror  of  Saxony,  the  Schwaben- 
spiegel  or  Mirror  of  Swabia,  and  Kaiserrecht,  or  the  Imperial  Law. 




Henry  I,  919-936 — His  Wars — The  Hungarians — The  Slavonians — New  Institu- 
tions—Otho  I.,  936-973— The  Hungarians— Battle  of  the  Lechfeld— The  Western 
Empire  renewed  962 — Greece — Otho  IL,  973-983— Italy — Otho  III.,  983-1003 — 
His  Religious  Devotion — His  Partiality  for  Roman  and  Grecian  Manners  and 
Customs— Henry  II.,  1003-1024— Italy— Pavia— Bamberg— His  Death,  1024— 
End  of  the  Saxon  Dynasty. 

THE  accounts  we  possess  respecting  the  election  of  Henry  vary 
much,  and  are  here  and  there  very  erroneous.  If  we  follow — as  is 
but  just — the  statements  of  the  most  ancient  writers,  Widukind  and 
Ditmar,  we  shall  find  that  the  princes  and  elders  of  the  Franks, 
yielding  to  the  counsel  of  Conrad  their  king,  given  on  his  death-bed, 
assembled  together  at  the  summons  of  their  duke,  Eberhard,  at  Fritz- 
lar,  in  the  beginning  of  the  year  919,  and  there,  in  the  presence  of 
the  two  nations,  the  Franks  and  the  Saxons,  elected  Henry  for  their 
sovereign.  The  whole  assembly  with  uplifted  hands  proclaimed  and 
saluted  with  loud  shouts  their  chosen  king.  Thus  the  choice  was 
more  properly  made  by  the  nobles  of  Franconia,  whilst  the  Saxons 
naturally  accepted  the  election  made  of  their  own  duke.  As  yet,  how- 
ever, it  could  not  be  known  what  measures  might  be  adopted  by  the 
other  nations,  and  we  shall  soon  learn  in  what  way  Henry  speedily 
brought  the  Swabians  and  Bavarians  to  acknowledge  his  sovereignty. 

Subsequent  authorities  relate  that  the  envoys  despatched  to  offer 
the  crown  to  Henry,  met  him  on  his  estates  of  the  Hartz  Moun- 
tains, among  his  falcons,  occupied  in  catching  birds,  whence 
he  derived  the  byname  of  the  Fowler.  It  is  possible  that  this  tra- 
dition may  have  been  preserved  among  the  people,  still  the  aforesaid 
earlier  writers  make  no  mention  of  it,  whilst  it  is  only  in  the  middle 
of  the  eleventh  century  that  we  for  the  first  time  meet  in  the  chro- 
nicles and  other  historical  works,  with  this  byname  Henricus  auceps. 

Henry's  reign  began,  it  is  true,  with  some  internal  agitations,  but 
these  were  soon  quelled,  for  the  anxious  wish  both  of  Otho  the  Illustri- 
ous and  King  Conrad  became  now  fulfilled,  and  the  Franks  and  the 
Saxons  lived  accordingly  in  harmony  together.  Duke  Burkhard  of 
Swabia,  and  Duke  Arnulf  of  Bavaria,  who  had  returned  from  the 
Hungarians,  refused  him  homage ;  but  he  speedily  brought  them  by 
the  power  of  his  arms  and  the  gentler  force  of  peaceful  and  friendly 
persuasion,  back  to  their  duty.  Thus,  from  the  year  921,  the  whole 
of  Germany  obeyed  Henry,  and  no  internal  war  disturbed  the  peace 
of  his  empire,  although  it  was  only  after  several  battles  that  he  con- 
quered Lorraine,  which  had  still  wavered  between  France  and 
Germany.  Soon  afterwards  he  strengthened  his  union  with  that 


country  by  giving  his  daughter  Gerberga  in  marriage  to  its  duke, 
Giselbert,  and  during  seven  centuries  that  beautiful  land  remained 
united  with  Germany. 

Henry  could  now  occupy  himself  with  his  foreign  enemies,  the 
Slavonians  and  Hungarians.  The  latter  thought  they  could  still 
continue  their  old  system  of  destruction  in  the  German  countries, 
but  they  now  found  an  opponent  who  arrested  their  progress.  At 
first,  indeed,  Henry  was  obliged  to  yield  to  their  furious  attacks  (in 
924),  and  they  advanced  into  the  very  heart  of  Saxony.  He  was, 
however,  fortunate  enough,  in  a  sally  he  made  from  the  fortified 
Castle  of  Werle,  or  Werlaon,*  to  capture  one  of  their  most  distin- 
guished princes ;  for  his  ransom  and  Henry's  promise  of  a  tribute  the 
Hungarians  concluded  a  truce  for  nine  years,  and  engaged  during 
that  time  not  to  attack  Germany.  They  probably  purposed  after 
that  to  make  doubly  good  the  lost  time,  but  Henry  profited  so  well 
by  those  nine  years  that  when  they  did  return  they  found  a  very 
different  country  to  contend  with. 

He  now  commenced  suppressing  with  much  severity  and  justice  in- 
ternal turbulence  and  depredation,  so  that  the  greater  zeal  might  be 
excited  against  foreign  enemies.  For  under  the  reign  of  the  last 
Carolingians,  as  we  have  already  seen,  the  spirit  for  war  and  rapine 
was  cherished  everywhere,  even  amongst  the  nobles.  Henry  pur- 
sued and  punished  these  robbers  wherever  they  were  taken;  but 
he  pardoned  those  in  whom  he  found  the  better  spirit  to  exist,  and 
gave  them  arms  and  land  on  the  eastern  frontiers  of  the  empire,  in 
order  that  they  might  thus  have  a  fair  opportunity  for  the  exercise 
of  their  passion  for  war  against  his  enemies.  Merseburg,  which 
served  as  one  of  the  quarters  for  such  a  troop,  thus  became  a  sort  of 
bulwark  or  protecting  wall  against  the  Slavonians,  until  Henry 
himself  advanced  farther  into  the  country  of  that  nation. 

He  then  exercised  his  German  soldiers,  who  until  then  only  knew 
how  to  contend  on  foot,  in  the  art  of  fighting  on  horseback,  so  that  they 
might  be  better  enabled  to  resist  the  hordes  of  mounted  Hungarians ; 
and  as  the  Germans  were  always  willing  to  learn,  and  were  likewise 
skilful  in  the  acquirement  of  the  art  of  arms  generally,  they  were 
speedily  made  perfect  in  the  cavalry  evolutions.  He  practised  them 
to  attack  in  close  ranks ;  to  await  the  first  arrow  of  the  enemy,  and  to 
receive  it  on  the  shield,  and  then  suddenly  to  dash  upon  them  before 
they  had  time  to  discharge  the  second.  Combined  with  this  reform  in 
the  cavalry  exercise,  he  likewise  introduced  a  more  strict  discipline  ; 
the  eldest  brother  in  every  family,  as  it  appears,  was  forced  to  do 
duty  as  a  horse  soldier,  and  all  capable  of  bearing  arms  were  obliged 
at  the  general  summons  (according  to  the  ancient  law,  which  he  re- 
newed) to  join  the  ranks. 

*  The  position  of  Werle  (called  by  Widukind,  Werlaon)  has  been  variously  dis- 
cussed; endeavours  having  been  made  to  trace  it  in  Westphalia,  Brunswick,  Hildes- 
heim,  and  other  districts ;  but  most  probably  it  was  in  the  palatinate  of  the  same  name, 
near  Goslar,  as  appears  in  the  "  Mirror  of  the  Saxons." 


Finally,  as  he  well  saw  that  the  enemy  could  still  do  much  mis- 
chief, even  if  they  were  put  to  flight — for,  like  a  flash  of  lightning  they 
appeared  now  here,  now  there,  pillaging  and  murdering  and  then 
vanished  before  they  could  be  overtaken — he  in  this  interval,  con- 
verted with  great  industry  a  number  of  unemployed  buildings  into 
fortified  castles,  placed  at  certain  distances  from  each  other,  so  that  the 
inhabitants  of  the  surrounding  country,  upon  the  first  intelligence  of 
the  enemy's  approach,  might  take  refuge  there  with  their  property. 
The  Hungarians  knew  nothing  of  besieging  cities,  and  if  they  made 
but  little  booty  in  their  incursions  they  did  not  very  soon  appear 
again.  Henry's  hereditary  lands — as  in  fact  generally  the  north  of 
Germany — were  very  poor  in  those  larger  settlements  which  might 
be  compared  with  towns ;  in  those  parts  the  custom  of  living  in  iso- 
lated localities  was  preserved  later  than  elsewhere.  Accordingly,  as 
Widukind  relates,  all  were  busily  occupied,  day  and  night,  with  the 
construction  of  these  burghs,  and  every  one  without  distinction  of 
rank  or  other  claims  to  independence,  was  forced  to  join  in  this 
grand  work.  Henry  built  these  fortified  castles  and  cities  chiefly 
in  his  hereditary  lands,  Saxony  and  Thuringia,  and  among  others 
Goslar,  Duderstadt,  Nordhausen,  Quedlinburg,  Merseburg,  and 
Meissen  are  named.  But  that  he  might  also  have  inhabitants  and 
garrisons  in  these  places  he  ordered,  that  of  all  the  men  who  were 
bound  to  do  service  in  war,  every  ninth  man  should  dwell  in  the  city, 
and  these  were  obliged  to  occupy  themselves  with  the  building  of 
houses,  which  might  serve  as  places  of  refuge,  upon  the  attacks  of  the 
enemy,  and  the  others  were  bound  to  supply  them  yearly  with  the 
third  portion  of  their  produce,  in  order  that  they  might  have  where- 
with to  live,  and  preserve  the  rest  for  all  in  time  of  danger. 

When  Henry  had  passed  some  years  in  making  these  preparations 
he  resolved  to  exercise  his  warriors,  by  subduing  the  neighbours  of 
the  Germans  in  the  east  and  north,  who  although  not  so  dangerous  as 
the  Hungarians,  were  still  not  less  disposed  to  be  hostile. 

He  attacked  and  beat  the  Slavonians  (the  Hevellers  on  the  Havel) 
in  the  Marches  of  Brandenburg,  and  conquered  their  city  Brennaburg 
(Brandenburg),  which  he  besieged  in  the  most  severe  winter,  so 
severe  that  his  army  encamped  on  the  ice  of  the  river  Havel.  He  then 
subjected  the  Daleminziens  or  Dalmatians,  who  inhabited  the  banks 
of  the  Elbe,  from  Meissen  to  Bohemia.  He  also  undertook  an  expe- 
dition against  the  Bohemians,  besieged  Duke  Wenzeslaus  in  Prague, 
the  capital,  and  forced  him  to  yield  obedience.  From  this  time  the 
kings  of  Germany  have  continued  to  demand  fealty  from  the  dukes 
of  Bohemia. 

These  events  took  place  in  all  probability  in  the  years  928  and 
929.  But  in  this  latter  year  a  Slavonic  race,  the  Kedarians,  en- 
couraged no  doubt  by  the  absence  of  the  king  when  on  his  Bohe- 
mian expedition,  united  with  their  neighbouring  tribes,  and  sud- 
denly revolted,  and  it  was  necessary  to  summon  together  all  the 
Saxons,  in  one  entire  mass,  to  advance  against  them.  The  king's 


generals  laid  siege  to  the  town  of  Lukini  (Lenzen),  near  the  Elbe. 
A  great  army  of  tlie  Slavonians  advanced  to  its  relief,  and  a  grand 
battle  was  fought,  in  which  they  were  completely  annihilated. 
Widukind  states  their  loss  at  200,000;  even  if  this  number  is 
exaggerated,  it  is  quite  certain  that  this  victory  of  the  Saxons  pro- 
duced the  lasting  subjection  of  the  Slavonians. 

No  doubt  it  was  in  order  to  guarantee  these  new  conquests  against 
the  Slavonians,  that  Henry  extended  the  already  existing  defences 
on  the  Slavonian  frontiers,  and  thence  were  formed  gradually  the 
Margraviate  of  Nordsachsen  (the  present  Altmark),  and  the  Mar- 
graviate  Meissen,  on  the  Elbe,  where  he  founded  the  same-named 
city  and  fortification.  Credit  may  not  be  given  to  him,  it  is  true,  for 
the  complete  establishment  of  both  these  margraviates,  because  that 
occurs  in  the  time  of  the  Ottonians ;  nevertheless  they  owe  to  him 
their  foundation.  Neither  is  it  proved  that  in  order  to  promul- 
gate Christianity  among  the  Slavonians,  he  had  already  founded 
bishoprics,  the  turbulence  of  the  times  may  have  prevented  him  during 
the  rest  of  his  reign  from  doing  so;  but  his  son  Otho  completed 
afterwards  what  his  father  projected,  by  introducing  ecclesiastical 
institutions  there. 

Meantime  the  nine  years'  truce  with  the  Hungarians  having  ex- 
pired, they  sent  an  embassy  to  Germany  to  demand  the  ancient  tri- 
bute which  that  country  had  disgracefully  been  obliged  to  pay 
them.  But  Henry,  to  show  them  the  contempt  in  which  the  Ger- 
mans now  held  them,  delivered  to  the  ambassadors  this  time,  in  the 
form  of  a  tribute,  a  mangy  dog,  deprived  of  its  tail  and  ears,  that 
being  a  very  ancient  symbol  of  the  most  utter  contempt.  At  this 
the  Hungarians  were  roused  into  fury,  and  prepared  themselves 
to  take  bitter  revenge  for  it ;  but  King  Henry  now  addressed  his 
people  thus : 

"  You  know  from  what  dangers  our  formerly-desolated  kingdom 
is  now  free,  for  it  was  torn  to  pieces  by  internal  dissensions,  and 
external  wars.  But  now,  by  the  protection  of  God,  by  our  efforts,  and 
by  your  valour,  one  enemy,  the  Slavonians,  being  brought  to  subjec- 
tion, nothing  remains  for  us  but  to  raise  ourselves  just  as  uni- 
tedly, and  in  one  mass  against  the  common  enemy,  the  savage  Avari 
(thus  he  styled  the  Hungarians).  Hitherto  we  have  been  obliged 
to  give  up  all  our  possessions  to  enrich  them,  and  now  to  satisfy  them 
further  we  must  plunder  our  churches,  for  we  have  nothing  else  to  give 
them.  Choose  now  yourselves;  will  you  admit  that  I  shall  take 
away  what  is  appointed  for  the  service  of  God  to  purchase  our 
peace  from  the  enemies  of  that  God,  or  will  you,  as  it  beseems  Ger- 
mans, firmly  confide  that  He  will  save  us,  who  in  truth  is  our  Lord 
and  Saviour?"  On  this  the  people  raised  their  hands  and  voices  to 
heaven,  and  swore  to  fight. 

The  Hungarians  now  advanced  in  two  strong  divisions.  The  first 
attacked  Thuringia  and  devastated  the  country,  to  the  Weser  dis- 
tricts, as  far  as  it  was  not  defended  by  its  fortified  towns.  But  an 


army,  formed  of  the  Saxons  and  Thuringians,  attacked  this  divi- 
sion, defeated  it,  destroyed  its  leaders,  and  pursuing  it  through  the 
whole  of  Thuringia,  annihilated  it  completely. 

The  other  division  of  the  Hungarians  which  had  remained  sta- 
tionary in  the  eastern  districts,  received  the  tidings  of  the  overthrow 
of  their  brethren  at  the  moment  they  were  laying  siege  to  the  seat 
of  Henry's  sister,  married  to  Wido  of  Thuringia.  What  place  this 
was,  we  have  unfortunately  not  been  able  to  learn.  Some  have 
thought  it  to  be  Merseburg,  which  Liutprand  names  as  the  enemy's 
place  of  encampment,  others  again  pronounce  it  to  be  Wittenberg. 
The  king,  as  Widukind  relates,  encamped  near  Riade,  the  situation 
of  which  it  is  equally  impossible  to  determine.  Still  it  is  extremely 
probable  that  the  battle  took  place  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Saale,  not 
far  from  Merseburg,  in  the  Hassgau. 

The  enemy  abandoned  their  camp,  and  according  to  their  custom, 
lighted  large  fires  as  a  signal  to  all  the  rest  of  their  troops,  dispersed 
around  in  plundering,  to  collect  together.  The  following  morning 
Henry  advanced  with  his  army,  and  exhorted  his  troops  in  the  most 
glowing  language  on  that  day  to  take  ample  revenge  for  the  wrongs 
of  their  country  and  their  relations  and  friends  slain,  or  carried  off  as 
slaves.  Thus  he  inarched  through  the  ranks  of  his  warriors,  bearing 
in  his  hand  the  holy  lance,*  preceded  by  the  banner  of  the  army 
waving  before  him,  which  was  consecrated  as  the  angel's  banner, 
it  being  decorated  with  the  figure  of  the  archangel  Michael.  Thence 
the  German  warriors  felt  within  them  the  full  confidence  of  victory, 
and  awaited  the  signal  for  battle  with  impatience.  The  king,  how- 
ever, who  already  perceived  by  the  motions  of  the  enemy  that  they 
would  not  make  a  stand,  sent  forward  a  portion  of  the  Thuringian 
militia,  or  Landwehr,  with  a  few  lightly-armed  horsemen,  in  order 
that  the  enemy  might  pursue  these  almost  unarmed  troops,  and  then 
be  seduced  onwards  to  attack  his  main  body.  And  this  took  place ;  but 
they  so  speedily  turned  their  backs  upon  viewing  the  well-armed 
ranks  of  the  Germans,  that  it  scarcely  became  a  regular  battle. 
They  were  pursued,  and  the  greater  part  were  either  hewn  down  or 
taken  prisoners;  the  camp  of  the  enemy,  with  all  the  treasures 
stolen,  was  captured,  and  what  to  the  feelings  was  most  of  all  af- 
fecting and  delightful  was,  that  the  prisoners  whom  the  Hunga- 
rians had  already  forced  along  as  slaves,  now  saw  themselves  so  provi- 
dentially freed  from  bondage.  Henry  then  fell  down  on  his  knees, 
together  with  his  whole  army,  and  thanked  God  for  the  victory 
gained.  The  tribute  which  he  had  hitherto  been  forced  to  pay  over 
to  the  enemy  he  now  devoted  to  the  service  of  the  church,  as  well  as 

*  This  holy  lance  was  handed  to  Henry  by  Kudolphus  of  Burgundy,  as  a  pre- 
sent: it  was  furnished  with  a  cross,  formed  of  nails,  with  which,  as  was  believed,  the 
hands  and  feet  of  our  Saviour  had  been  fixed  when  crucified.  King  Henry  and  his 
successors  held  this  sacred  weapon  in  high  veneration,  and  always  used  it  on  im- 
portant occasions. 


to  charitable  gifts  which  he  made  to  the  poor ;  and  the  king  himself, 
says  Widukind,  was  henceforward  called  by  his  inspired  warriors, 
"  The  father  of  his  country,"  their  "  sovereign  lord,"  and  their 
"emperor;"  whilst  the  fame  of  his  great  virtue  and  valour  extended 
over  the  whole  country. 

This  action  took  place  in  the  year  933,  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Merseburg,  and  was  what  was  usually  styled  the  M erseburger  engage- 
ment or  the  battle  of  the  Hassgau.  In  remembrance  of  the  event,  Henry, 
as  is  related  by  Liutprand,  had  a  painting  of  the  battle  drawn  in  the 
dining  hall  of  his  palace  in  Merseburg,  which  represented  the  tri- 
umphant scene  with  nearly  all  the  truth  and  animation  of  life  itself. 

The  year  934  presented  to  King  Henry  another  opportunity  by 
which  to  gain  great  glory,  by  an  expedition  against  the  Danes, 
who  were  ravaging  and  laying  waste  the  coasts  of  Friesland  and 
Saxony.  Ke  marched  into  their  own  country,  at  the  head  of  his 
army,  forced  their  king,  Gorm  (usually  surnamed  the  old),  to  con- 
clude a  peace,  established  at  Silesia,  on  the  frontiers  of  the  empire, 
a  fortified  barrier,  and  founded  there  a  margraviate,  wherein  he  left 
a  colony  of  Saxons.  He  also  succeeded  in  converting  one  of  the 
members  of  the  royal  family — probably  Knud,  the  son  of  Gorm, 
but,  according  to  others,  his  second  son,  Harold — to  Christianity. 
Thus  was  re-established  by  Henry  I.  the  Margraviate  Schlei  and 
Trenne,  which  had  previously  served  as  a  bulwark  for  the  imperial  fron- 
tiers, and  which  the  Danes  had  again  possessed  and  destroyed.  This 
good  prince  therefore  had  now  the  happiness  to  behold,  when  on  the 
eve  of  his  glorious  life,  these  enemies  of  the  north  who,  during  an  entire 
century,  had  spread  terror  throughout  the  countries  of  Europe,  retire 
before  him,  and,  confining  themselves  within  the  limits  of  their  own 
territory,  acknowledge  his  power.* 

At  home,  in  his  own  domestic  circle,  King  Henry  exercised  the 
virtues  and  duties  of  an  excellent  husband  and  a  good  father.  His 
queen,  the  pious  and  gentle  Matilda,  was  the  model  of  wives; 
for,  possessing  great  influence  over  the  king,  she  availed  her- 
self thereof,  wherever  it  was  possible,  to  obtain  his  grace  and 
pardon  for  the  guilty;  and  his  kind  and  noble  heart  was  always 
sadly  pained  when  the  stern  command  of  public  justice  forced  him  to 
refuse  her  appeals  for  mercy.  By  her  he  had  five  children,  Otho, 
Gerberga,  Haduin,  and  subsequently  Henry  and  Biuno.  By  his 
first  wife,  Hathberga  (who,  having  originally  been  destined  for  a 
convent,  was  never  looked  upon  as  his  lawful  wife,  and  soon  left  him) 
he  had  a  son,  called  Tancmar,  but  who  was  not  acknowledged  as  a 
legitimate  child. 

He  gave  Otho,  his  eldest  son  and  successor,  in  marriage  to  Edge- 
tha,  daughter  of  Edward,  King  of  England;  and  by  that  act,  set  the 
first  example  which  the  kings  of  the  Saxon  dynasty  followed  so  fre- 

*  This  piece  of  land,  between  Schlei  and  Eider,  remained  thenceforward  united 
•with  Germany  for  nearly  a  century,  until  the  emperor,  Conrad  IL,  resigned  it  to  King 


quently  afterwards,  of  seeking  to  unite  themselves  with  all  the  other 
royal  nouses  of  Europe.  This  forms  a  distinguished  feature  in  this 
noble  race. 

Towards  the  end  of  his  life,  according  to  Widukind,  after  having 
so  gloriously  succeeded  in  his  devoted  object,  of  producing  for  his 
country  peace  internally,  and  from  all  other  nations  respect  exter- 
nally, Henry  had  it  in  contemplation  to  proceed  to  Italy,  in  order 
to  re-unite  that  country  with  the  empire  of  Germany.  Whether  or 
not  this  statement  rests  upon  any  good  foundation,  is  not  known;  but 
the  execution  of  this  design,  if  really  intended,  was  suddenly  inter- 
rupted by  sickness,  he  being  attacked  with  a  fit  of  apoplexy  whilst 
staying  at  Bothfeld,  in  the  autumn  of  935,  from  which  he  suffered 
a  long  and  severe  illness.  When  he  did  recover  sufficiently,  he  felt 
the  necessity  of  at  once  attending  to  the  means  of  securing  the  tran- 
quillity of  his  empire,  and  he  accordingly  convoked  an  assembly  of 
the  nobles  at  Erfurt.  He  had  long  perceived  in  his  eldest  son 
Otho,  all  that  energy  and  greatness  of  mind  so  suitable  and  necessary 
for  a  sovereign ;  but  the  mother  was  more  in  favour  of  Henry,  the 
second  son,  because  he  was  more  mild  than  his  passionate  brother; 
besides  which,  she  held  him  to  possess  a  greater  right  to  the  succession 
of  the  crown,  because  he  was  the  first-born  son  after  his  father  had 
been  invested  with  the  imperial  dignity.  The  will  of  the  father,  how- 
ever, determined  all  the  nobles  to  recognise  Otho  as  successor. 

More  easy  now  in  his  mind,  Henry  left  Erfurt  and  proceeded  to 
Memleben.  There  he  experienced  a  second  attack  of  apoplexy, 
and,  after  having  taken  an  affecting,  but  resigned  farewell  of  his 
amiable  wife,  he  died  on  Sunday  the  2nd  of  July,  in  the  year  936, 
at  the  age  of  sixty,  in  the  presence  of  his  sons  and  different  princes 
of  the  empire.  His  remains  were  buried  in  the  church  of  St.  Peter, 
before  the  altar,  in  Quedlinburg,  the  city  he  had  himself  founded. 

Henry  had  reigned  only  eighteen  years,  and  yet  during  that  time 
he  had  not  only  raised  the  empire  from  a  fallen  state,  but  had  ele- 
vated it  to  the  highest  degree  of  power  and  command.  He  was 
strong  and  mighty  against  his  enemies,  and  towards  his  friends  and 
subjects,  kind,  just,  and  mild.  He  is  represented  as  having  been  of 
a  handsome,  chivalric  form,  skilful  and  bold  as  a  hunter,  and  so 
adroit  in  all  the  exercises  of  the  body  and  warlike  arms,  that  he  was 
the  terror  of  his  adversaries.  He  was  extremely  bland  and  affable 
in  his  manner,  but  still  preserved  so  well  his  dignity  that  he  kept 
every  one  within  the  bounds  of  respect. 

Henry  may,  with  justice,  be  styled  one  of  the  greatest  of  all  Ger- 
man princes ;  for  that  which  proves  the  greatness  of  a  king  is  not  so 
much  the  actions  by  which  he  astonishes  the  world,  but  the  works  he 
leaves  behind  him,  and  which  bear  in  themselves  the  living  germ  of 
a  new  epoch. 

Unfortunately,  the  most  ancient  and  authentic  writers  in  reference 
to  King  Henry  are  very  imperfect  and  unsatisfactory,  so  much  so, 
that  it  is  impossible  to  place  entire  confidence  in  the  subsequent  state- 



ments.  Still  it  is  already  much  when  we  find  at  least,  that  all  the 
writers  of  the  middle  ages  agree  in  looking  upon  him  as  the  insti- 
tutor  of  chivalry  and  the  ennobling  reformer  of  the  nobility,  as  well 
as  being  the  founder  of  cities  and  citizenship,  and,  with  one  word,  of 
all  the  noble  institutions  which  became  developed  after  him.  This  tes- 
timony proves  that  his  works  have  had  the  greatest  influence,  and, 
accordingly,  that  his  memory,  as  it  has  been,  should  continue  to  be 
honoured  among  mankind.  But  even  if  we  retain  only  what  is 
clearly  proved  in  history,  enough  will  remain  to  establish  his  claims 
to  glory  and  honour. 

Henry  became  a  still  greater  benefactor  to  Germany  by  founding, 
in  the  construction  of  cities,  new  municipalities.  For  although  the  im- 
mediate object  of  these  strong  places  was  to  protect  the  country  against 
the  pillaging  hordes  of  the  Hungarians,  it  was  one  only  secondary,  in- 
asmuch as  they  were  far  more  important  as  the  cradle  of  a  new  con- 
dition of  life.  The  order  of  common  freemen  towards  the  end  of 
the  Carolingian  period  was,  as  already  stated,  very  much  reduced  or 
nearly  extinct.  The  German  people  were  upon  the  high  road  of  be- 
coming, like  those  other  nations  where  there  are  but  two  classes,  lords 
and  slaves;  two  conditions  between  which  that  pride  and  energy 
given  by  freedom  are  never  recovered.  Already  the  country  itself 
was  chiefly  cultivated  by  mere  mercenaries,  and  industrial  employ- 
ments as  well  as  trade  were  almost  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  Jews. 
The  nobles  considered  these  occupations  beneath  their  dignity ;  nay, 
they  were  very  often  dependant  on  the  Jews,  who  had  accumulated 
immense  riches,  because  in  their  necessity  they  were  forced  to  borrow 
money  from  them.  As  early  as  in  the  last  period  of  the  Roman 
empire  the  laws  had  already  commenced  to  favour  the  Israelites,  and 
by  Honorius  among  others,  they  were  entirely  freed  from  all  military 
service.  Their  chief  dwelling  places  were  the  cities  on  the  Rhine 
and  the  Danube,  which  originated  in  the  time  of  the  Romans,  (Co- 
logne, Coblentz,  Treves,  Mentz,  Worms,  Spire,  Strasburg,  Basle, 
Constance,  Augsburg,  Ratisbonne,  Passau,  &c.),  and  in  these  cities 
they  lived  in  such  great  numbers,  that  they  prevented  all  competi- 
tion and  obstructed  all  increase  of  trade  and  industry. 

But  King  Henry  now  built,  as  we  have  seen,  a  number  of  cities 
in  Saxony  and  Thuringia,  and  placed  in  them  inhabitants  from  the 
country,  to  serve  not  merely,  as  has  been  supposed,  during  the  time 
of  war,  but  as  constant  dwelling  places ;  he  also  found  means  to  over- 
come the  ancient  repugnance  felt  by  the  Saxons  to  living  in  towns. 
He  promised  to  those  who  dwelt  in  them  the  security  of  justice;  and 
it  is  not  improbable  that  each  town  received  its  own  count,  who,  in 
time  of  war  was  the  leader,  and  in  peace  was  the  immediate  judge 
and  president,  although  in  gradation  he  may  have  ranked  under  the 
count  of  the  gau  or  district  in  which  the  town  lay. 

Afterwards  he  ordered,  as  is  expressly  stated  by  Widukind,  that 
all  councils,  assemblies,  and  festivals  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  neigh- 
bouring districts,  should  be  held  and  celebrated  in  the  citiesj  and 


that  all  trade-fairs  in  their  turn,  followed  and  joined  in  these  regula- 
tions, and  that  industry  and  traffic  found  in  the  cities  their  central 
point  of  union,  is  to  be  inferred  as  a  natural  and  important  result. 
Whatever  had  been  formerly  executed  in  isolated  dwellings,  by  the 
family  or  serfs,  soon  became,  under  the  new  order  of  things,  worked 
and  finished  in  quantities,  and  in  a  superior  style,  by  the  artizans  and 
mechanics  of  the  cities.  And  as  the  master  and  his  men,  in  turns, 
prepared  only  one,  to  each  allotted  part  of  the  work,  wherein  each  was 
skilled  and  had  been  exercised  from  youth  upwards,  such  a  division 
of  labour  proved,  as  it  always  must,  the  foundation  of  all  civilization 
among  the  people ;  and  thence  Henry  was  again  the  founder  of  indus- 
try, moral  cultivation,  and  the  development  of  the  civil  order  of  life. 
And  with  the  same  motives  that  had  caused  him  to  give  to  chivalry 
a  nobler  aim  and  a  more  illustrious  title  for  the  exercise  of  arms,  so 
did  Henry  now  seek  to  introduce  the  practice  of  arms  for  the  inha- 
bitants of  the  cities,  so  that  they  might  be  skilled  in  the  defence  of 
their  walls,  and  thus  become  a  defensive  and  honourable  body  of  the 
state.  By  this  he  succeeded  in  attracting  inhabitants  for  his  fortified 
places,  in  such  great  numbers,  that  as  these,  in  their  original  state, 
soon  became  too  narrow  to  hold  them,  the  new  comers,  as  they  ar- 
rived, built  themselves  houses  around  the  fortified  place,  so  that  ano- 
ther city,  as  it  were,  was  speedily  completed,  which  was  subsequently 
surrounded  with  strong  walls,  likewise  as  a  defence  against  the  at- 
tacks of  the  enemy. 

By  what,  however,  has  just  been  said,  it  is  not  meant  to  convey 
that  these  institutions  of  King  Henry  had  at  once  changed  the 
whole  course  of  existing  customs  and  manners  in  Northern  Ger- 
many, and  substituted  an  extensive  and  independent  order  of  civil 
institutions ;  on  the  contrary,  owing  to  the  ever-repugnant  feelings  of 
the  Saxons  against  a  confined  life  in  towns,  as  is  shewn  in  subsequent 
times,  this  new  order  of  things  progressed  but  slowly.  Yet  he  had 
laid  the  foundation,  the  commencement  was  made,  he  gave  it  an 
impetus,  and  more  could  not  be  demanded  from  him.  His  merit 
lies  therein,  that  he  perceived  and  acknowledged  the  necessary  re- 
forms required  by  the  march  of  events,  and  he  promoted  their  pro- 
gress; but  it  was  the  course  of  human  development  which  was 
to  combine  and  complete,  in  an  extended  form,  what  was  merely 
began  by  him.  This  course,  however,  is  not  measured  by  years,  but 
by  centuries,  and  thus  we  shall  find,  that  it  is  only  in  the  subsequent 
period  of  the  middle  ages  that  the  result  of  the  great  Henry's  noble 
designs  are  made  manifest  in  the  flourishing  state  of  the  existence  of 
the  cities. 

_  Already,  before  the  death  of  Henry,  the  princes  had  promised 
him  to  recognise  his  son  Otho  as  his  successor  to  the  empire ;  and 
this  recognition  was  now  confirmed  in  a  great  assembly  at  Aix-la- 
Chapelle,  where  Otho  was  solemnly  crowned.  Two  of  the  great 
archbishops  on  the  Rhine  contended  for  the  honour  of  the  corona- 
tion. He  of  Cologne  claimed  it  from  Aix-la-Chapelle  being  in  his 



diocese;  and  the  other,  of  Treves,  because  his  archbishopric  was 
the  most  ancient.  However,  it  was  at  last  concluded  that  neither 
of  them,  but  that  Hildebert,  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  should  perform 
the  ceremony.  Giselbrecht,  Duke  of  Lorraine,  in  whose  duchy  Aix- 
la-Chapelle  lay,  was  charged,  as  high  chamberlain,  with  the  office 
of  providing  for  the  lodging  and  entertainment  of  the  strangers, 
of  whom  a  vast  number  attended.  Eberhard,  Duke  of  Franconia, 
as  high  steward,  supplied  the  tables  and  the  viands;  Duke  Herman 
of  Swabia,  acted  as  high  seneschal,  and  Arnulf,  Duke  of  Bavaria, 
as  high-marshal,  provided  for  the  horses  and  the  camp. 

When  the  people  were  assembled  in  the  grand  cathedral  of  Aix- 
la-Chapelle,  the  archbishop  led  the  young  king  forward  by  the 
hand,  and  spoke  thus  to  the  multitude:  "  Behold,  I  here  present  to 
you  the  king,  Otho,  elected  by  God,  proposed  by  King  Henry,  and 
nominated  by  all  the  princes !  If  this  choice  be  acceptable  to  you, 
you  will  signify  it  by  raising  your  right  hand  towards  heaven  !" 

The  whole  multitude  then  held  up  their  hands  and  hailed  the  new 
king  with  loud  and  j  oyful  acclamations.  The  archbishop  then  stepped 
with  him  to  the  altar,  whereon  the  imperial  insignia  lay — the  sword 
and  belt,  the  imperial  mantle,  the  armlets  and  the  staff,  together 
with  the  sceptre  and  the  crown.  The  sword  he  handed  to  him  with 
these  words:  "Take  this  sword,  destined  to  repulse  all  the  enemies 
of  Christ,  and  to  confirm,  with  most  lasting  power,  the  peace  of  all 
Christians;"  and  he  handed  to  his  majesty  the  other  articles,  with 
a  similar  address.  He  then  placed  the  crown  upon  his  head  and 
led  him  to  the  throne,  which  was  erected  between  two  marble 
columns,  where  Otho  continued  to  sit  until  the  solemn  ceremony 
was  concluded.  All  eyes  were  turned  with  astonishment  to  the  young 
king,  whose  countenance  filled  every  one  with  veneration.  His 
lofty,  princely  form,  his  broad  manly  chest,  his  large  sparkling 
eyes,  and  beautiful  flaxen  hair,  which  flowed  down  to  his  shoulders 
in  long  locks — all  seemed  to  announce  him  as  being  born  to  rule. 
The  days  of  festival  and  ceremony  having  ended,  Otho  commenced 
his  new  reign  with  vigorous  power,  and  it  was  speedily  shewn  that 
outward  appearances  had  not  deceived. 

But  Otho  did  not  gain  over  the  hearts  of  men  that  same  mild 
power  which  Henry  his  father  had  obtained.  He  has  often  been 
called  a  lion  from  his  proud  and  terrific  look  and  manner,  and  be- 
cause like  the  lion  he  cast  all  enemies  down  before  him,  whenever 
and  however  numerous  in  force  they  appeared  against  him,  whether 
at  home  or  abroad.  He  was  a  great  and  powerful  monarch,  and  was 
soon  considered  the  first  prince  in  Christendom.  He  had  placed  upon 
his  head  the  imperial  crown  of  Charlemagne,  and  even  rendered  the 
Germanic  empire  and  its  name  so  celebrated  amongst  all  nations,  that 
none  could  venture  to  claim  comparison  with  it.  Such  powerful  re- 
sults cannot  be  accomplished  by  a  man  of  ordinary  mind,  and  who 
lives  only  for  tranquillity  and  peace,  but  by  him  alone,  to  whom  like 
Otho,  the  fame  of  his  nation  stands  ever  before  his  eyes  as  an  elevated 
glory-beaming  image,  and  if  even  the  haughtiness  of  his  soul  raised 


many  enemies  against  him,  and  even  if  in  his  wrath  with  which  his 
manly  breast  was  often  excited,  he  acted  with  harshness  towards  his 
adversaries,  still  in  his  noble  dignity  of  mind,  he  may  be  compared 
with  the  lion,  inasmuch  as  he  pitied  and  spared  many  times  those 
weaker  enemies  who  besought  his  mercy  and  pardon.  Anger  and 
severity  indeed  never  carried  him  beyond  the  limits  of  justice,  for 
with  him  the  law  ever  maintained  its  influence  and  authority. 

Our  country,  which  before  these  two  great  kings,  Henry  and  Otho, 
was  rapidly  approaching  its  own  ruin,  being  rent  by  internal  anarchy 
and  surrounded  externally  by  enemies  who  in  their  contempt,  accord- 
ing to  their  caprice,  laid  it  desolate  wherever  they  could,  now  rose 
again  suddenly,  and  became  as  it  were  a  new-born  empire.  Not  only 
were  the  enemies  struck  to  the  ground,  but  even  new  countries  were 
acquired,  and  all  other  nations  which  had  previously  mocked,  now 
bent  low  before  us.  In  the  time  of  peace,  when  no  danger  threatens, 
and  justice  and  order  hold  predominance  everywhere,  a  nation  may 
rejoice  in  a  king  who  sits  upon  the  throne  of  his  fathers,  intent  upon 
continuing  that  state  of  peace ;  but  when  the  world  is  violently  agi- 
tated, and  personal  freedom  and  independence  are  in  danger,  or 
when  a  nation  has  become  completely  enervated  by  a  long  peace, 
and  is  thus  rendered  indifferent  to  honour  and  glory,  then  a  king  is 
required  bold  and  proud  as  King  Otho  the  First.  His  royal  patriotic 
father  had  commenced  the  work,  and  he,  the  son,  felt  himself  in 
possession  of  the  power  to  perform  its  completion. 

It  is  true  that  at  the  commencement  of  his  reign  many  princes  rose 
against  him,  as  for  instance :  the  Franks  under  Eberhard,  and  theLoth- 
ringians  or  Lorrainers  under  Giselbrecht,  who  still  could  not  forget 
that  a  Saxon  possessed  the  royal  dignity ;  Tankmar,  his  step-brother, 
and  even  his  own  younger  brother  Henry,  the  mother's  favourite,  who 
considered  he  had  a  greater  right  to  the  crown  than  Otho,  because 
he  was  born  when  his  father  was  already  a  king,  whilst  Otho,  on 
the  contrary,  was  born  whilst  he  was  a  duke.  But  the  Franks  and 
Lothringians  were  reduced  by  arms  to  tranquillity,  after  the  Dukes 
Eberhard  and  Giselbrecht  were  both  slain ;  Tankmar  was  also  killed  in 
the  contest;  and  Henry,  who  had  been  allied  with  them,  repaired  to 
Frankfurt,  and  at  the  Christmas  festival,  in  942,  during  mass  in  the 
night,  cast  himself  at  the  feet  of  his  brother,  and  received  full  pardon, 
although  he  had  three  times  risen  against  him,  and  had  even  joined 
in  a  conspiracy  to  take  his  life.  Nay,  in  945,  he  was  presented  by 
Otho  with  the  vacant  duchy  of  Bavaria,  and  thenceforward  they  re- 
mained true  friends  until  their  death. 

The  king  now  turned  his  attention  towards  his  external  enemies. 
With  his  north-eastern  neighbours,  the  Slavonians,  he  had  long  and 
sanguinarv  wars,  but  he  made  them  tributary  as  far  as  the  Oder, 
and  in  order  to  confirm  Christianity  among  them,  he  erected  the 
Bishoprics  of  Haselberg,  Brandenberg,  and  Meissen,  and  subjected 
them  later  to  the  Archbishopric  of  Magdeburg,  which  he  had  estab- 
lished in  the  year  968.  The  Dukes  of  Bohemia  and  Poland  were  obliged 
to  acknowledge  his  authority,  and  by  the  foundation  of  the  Bishopric 


of  Posen  lie  sought  to  extend  the  mild  doctrines  of  Christianity  to 
those  distant  countries.  He  drove  back  the  Danes,  who  had 
shortly  before  desolated  the  Margraviate  of  Sleswig,  founded  by  his 
father,  as  far  as  the  point  of  Jutland,  and  an  arm  of  the  sea  on  this 
coast  derived  from  him  the  name  of  the  Otho- Sound,  because  he 
fixed  his  lance  there  in  the  ground,  as  a  token  of  his  arrival.  Harold 
caused  himself  as  well  as  his  consort  Gunelda  and  his  son  Sveno  to 
be  baptised,  and  bishoprics  were  erected  in  Sleswig,  Ripen,  and 
Aarhuus.  Otho  felt  within  himself  that  he  was  appointed  to  per- 
form the  part  of  a  Christian  German  king,  the  same  as  Charles  the 
Great;  he  spread  Christianity  around  with  a  national  feeling  for  its 
cultivation,  by  planting  in  the  conquered  countries  German  colonies. 

Meanwhile,  in  Italy,  circumstances  had  occurred  which  attracted 
the  eyes  of  Otho  to  that  country,  longing  as  he  did  to  perform  great 
deeds  there.  Ever  since  the  extinction  of  the  Carolingian  branch 
numerous  pretenders  to  its  dominion  had  started  up,  scattering  dis- 
order and  destruction  throughout  that  beautiful  land,  in  addition  to 
which  bands  of  plundering  strangers  had  either  taken  up  their 
quarters  or  made  continual  incursions  throughout  the  country.  Here 
and  there  the  Saracens  were  found  regularly  housed  amongst  the 
rocks  of  the  seacoast,  whilst  the  hordes  of  the  Hungarians  or  Mag- 
yars, frequently  overrun  the  rich  and  fertile  plains  of  Upper  Italy.  In 
the  south  of  Italy,  the  dominion  of  the  Greek  emperors  still  main- 
tained itself,  and  extended  almost  to  Rome,  and  whose  mercenaries, 
consisting  of  many  nations,  were  a  scourge  to  the  land. 

In  Upper  Italy,  the  native  princes  at  one  moment,  and  the  kings 
of  Burgundy  in  the  next,  took  possession  of  the  reins  of  govern- 
ment, and  to  a  certain  extent  assumed  the  imperial  title.  Lothaire, 
the  last  king  of  the  Burgundian  race,  died  in  the  year  950,  and  the 
Margrave,  Berengar  of  Ivrea,  took  forcible  possession  of  the  authority. 
In  order  to  fix  himself  more  securely  in  the  government,  he  tried 
to  force  the  young  and  beautiful  widow  of  Lothaire,  the  Princess 
Adelaide,  to  marry  his  son  Adelbert.  But  this  she  steadily  and 
firmly  refused,  and  was  imprisoned  by  the  king ;  but  with  the  assist- 
ance of  an  ecclesiastic  she  escaped,  and  took  refuge  at  the  court 
of  Adelhard,  Bishop  of  Reggio.  This  event  gave  occasion  for 
Otho  to  interfere  with  his  influence,  in  order  to  adjust  this  sad  state 
of  confusion  in  that  part  of  Italy,  and  especially  as  he  was  appealed 
to  by  many  nobles  of  that  land,  as  also  by  the  persecuted  Adelaide 
herself.  Accordingly  in  951  he  crossed  the  Alps  with  a  well-ap- 
pointed army,  besieged  and  took  possession  of  Pa  via,  and  as  his  first 
wife  Edigatha  had  died  in  the  year  946,  he  concluded  by  giving 
his  hand  to  the  beautiful  Adelaide,  whom  he  had  thus  so  chival- 
rously delivered  from  her  base  persecutor.  In  the  course  of  the 
following  year  he  became  reconciled  with  Berengar  at  Augsburg, 
and  gave  him  Lombardy  as  a  fief  under  German  dominion.  Verona 
and  Aquislegia  however  he  yielded  to  Henry  of  Bavaria. 

These  events  however  produced  shortly  afterwards  great  disputes 


in  Germany.     Otho  was  affectionately  attached  to  liis  queen,  Ade- 
laide and  his  brother  Henry  of  Bavaria,  and  they  both  acquired 
great  influence  with  him.     Ludolf,  Otho's  son  by  his  former  mar- 
riage, felt  himself,  perhaps  not  unjustly,  to  be  neglected,  and  was 
afraid  he  would  be  excluded  from  succession  to  the  throne  by  the 
children  his  father  might  have  by  Adelaide.     He  was  joined  by 
Otho's  son-in-law,  Conrad,  Duke  of  Lorraine,  Frederic,  Archbishop 
of  Mentz,  the  Palatine  Arnulf  of  Bavaria,  and  several  other  nobles, 
induced  especially,  as  it  would  seem,  by  hatred  to  Henry  of  Bavaria, 
whose  deceitful  character  had  embittered  them  against  him.     It  was 
only  with  the  greatest  trouble  and  difficulty  that  Otho  was  enabled  in 
the  course  of  the  years  953  and  954,  to  suppress  the  revolt.  »Obstinate 
and  severe  battles  were  fought  in  Saxony,  Lorraine,  Franconia,  and 
Bavaria ;  and  it  was  in  vain  that  Otho  besieged  his  adversaries  in 
Mentz,  as  well  as  afterwards  in  Ratisbonne.     Even  the  Hungarians 
renewed  their  destructive  attacks,  and  were  supported  in  them  by 
the  revolutionary  forces;  they  pursued  their  incursions  through  Ba- 
varia, Franconia,  Lorraine,  a  part  of  France,  and  finally  returned 
through  Burgundy  and  Italy.     But  it  was  just  these  very  devasta- 
tions committed  by  this  arch-enemy  of  the  empire  which  at  last  put 
an  end  to  the  revolutionary  war.     Punished  by  their  conscience, 
Conrad  and  the  Archbishop  of  Mentz  returned  to  their  allegiance 
and  humbled  themselves  before  the  king,  by  whom  they  were  par- 
doned and  received  again  into  favour,  and  although  in  his  obstinacy 
Ludolf  for  a  time  continued  the  contest,  he  nevertheless  in  the  end, 
after  the  Palatine  Arnulf  had  been  killed  before  Ratisbonne,  likewise 
yielded  submission  to  his  father,  whose  kindled  wrath  had  been 
softened  down  by  the  intercession  of  the  princes.  Ludolf  and  Conrad, 
however,  were  not  granted  the  restoration  of  their  lost  dukedoms, 
that  of  Lorraine  being  given  to  Otho's  faithful  brother  Bruno,  who 
had  likewise  been  already  appointed  to  the  Archbishopric  of  Cologne, 
whilst  Burchard,  Henry  of  Bavaria's  son-in-law,  was  raised  to  the 
Dukedom  of  Swabia. 

Thus  internal  peace  was  happily  restored,  when  in  the  year  955, 
the  Hungarians  in  still  greater  force,  again  invaded  Bavaria,  and 
besieged  Augsburg.  Udalrich,  the  bishop  of  that  city,  defended  it 
heroically,  until  the  king  advanced  to  its  assistance  and  encamped 
along  the  river  Lech.  His  army  was  divided  into  eight  battalions, 
of  which  the  first  three  consisted  of  Bavarians;  the  fourth  of  the 
Franks  under  Conrad;  the  fifth  of  the  elite  troops  of  warriors,  selected 
from  the  entire  army,  at  the  head  of  which  noble  division  Otho 
himself  commanded;  the  sixth  and  seventh  were  composed  of  the 
Swabians,  and  the  eighth  consisted  of  a  thousand  picked  Bohemian 
horsemen  in  charge  of  the  military  stores  and  baggage,  as  from  this 
side  no  attack  was  anticipated.  Scarcely  had  the  Hungarians,  how- 
ever, caught  a  glimpse  of  the  army,  when,  with  their  usual  rapi- 
dity, they  spread  out  their  innumerable  hordes  of  cavalry,  swam  across 
the  Lech,  and  attacked  the  camp  behind  the  army;  throwing  the 


Bohemians  and  the  Swabians  into  such  disorder  that  the  baggage 
became  lost.  The  valiant  Conrad,  however,  with  his  Franks,  has- 
tened to  their  assistance  and  restored  order.  The  decisive  battle  was 
fixed  to  take  place  on  the  following  day,  it  being  the  day  of  St. 
Lawrence.  The  whole  army  prepared  itself  for  the  contest  by 
prayer;  the  king  received  the  holy  sacrament,  and  he  and  the  entire 
army  swore  to  remain  true  to  each  other  unto  death.  Otho  then 
raised  the  holy  lance,  the  banner  of  the  angel  which  had  led  to  vic- 
tory at  Merseburg,  waving  also  now  in  front;  the  king  himself 
gave  the  signal  for  attack,  and  was  the  first  to  fall  upon  the  enemy. 
He  himself,  with  his  chosen  troop,  and  Conrad,  who  felt  anxious 
to  recover  by  splendid  deeds  the  good  name  he  had  lost  in  his  rebel- 
lion, decided  the  battle.  Thus  a  great  and  glorious  victory  was 
gained ;  the  enemy's  troops  completely  defeated,  and  put  to  flight, 
nearly  all  being  destroyed  or  made  prisoners,  and  three  of  their 
leaders  hung  up  like  chiefs  of  robbers.  Their  own  writer,  Keza, 
assures  us  that  out  of  both  their  large  armies,  consisting  of  60,000 
men,  only  seven  stragglers  returned — with  their  ears  shorn. 

But  the  victory  of  the  Germans  was  dearly  purchased.  Many 
brave  leaders  fell;  and  the  heroic  Conrad,  who,  during  the  great 
heat,  had  loosened  his  armour  to  cool  himself  a  little,  was  mortally 
wounded  in  the  neck  by  a  stray  arrow,  and  died — thus  repaying 
with  his  blood  the  debt  he  owed  to  his  country.  The  Hungarians, 
however,  after  the  battle,  did  not  venture  to  appear  again  in  Ger- 
many ;  and  the  whole  of  that  beautiful  country  along  the  Danube, 
the  subsequent  margraviate  of  Austria,  was  torn  from  them,  and  by 
degrees  repopulated  with  Germans,  so  that  eventually  it  flourished 

Otho  gained,  in  the  same  year,  a  victory  not  less  important  over 
the  Slavonians,  who,  in  conjunction  with  numerous  discontented 
Saxons,  renewed  their  attacks  constantly.  The  Margrave  Gero,  one 
of  the  most  important  men  under  the  reign  of  Otho  I.,  and  who  had 
for  many  years  continued  to  protect  the  eastern  frontiers  against  the 
Slavonians,  now,  together  with  the  valiant  Hermann  Bilburg,  op- 
posed them  with  great  vigour  and  success,  until  the  king  himself 
was  enabled  to  advance  to  their  aid  ;  and  in  a  battle  fought  on  the 
16th  of  October,  and  which  has  been  compared  with  that  of  Augs- 
burg, he  completely  conquered  them.  The  brave  Hermann  Bilburg 
was  subsequently  created  a  duke  of  Saxony  by  Otho,  although,  as 
it  appears,  without  having  attained  the  government  of  the  entire 
country,  and  the  full  power  of  the  other  dukes. 

Meanwhile,  Berengar,  the  ungrateful  King  of  Italy,  to  whom. 
Otho  had  shown  great  kindness,  again  rebelled  against  him,  and 
cruelly  persecuted  all  who  held  with  the  King  of  Germany ;  and 
in  their  trouble  they  entreated  assistance  from  Otho.  He  first 
sent  his  son,  Ludolf,  with  an  army  across  the  Alps;  its  force  was 
indeed  but  small,  but  the  valiant  son  of  Otho  pressed  the  traitor 
BO  closely,  that  he  must  have  been  destroyed,  if  Ludolf  had  not  sud- 


denly  died  in  the  bloom  of  youth,  and,  as  it  is  supposed,  by  poison, 
in  the  year  957.  Some  few  years  elapsed,  when  in  the  year  961, 
King  Otho  himself,  invited  by  the  pope,  John  XII.,  the  Archbishop 
of  Milan,  and  others,  accompanied  by  Adelaide,  his  queen,  marched 
himself  a  second  time  into  Italy,  after  he  had  caused  his  son,  Otho, 
yet  an  infant,  to  be  elected  and  crowned  king.  Berengar  concealed 
himself  among  his  castles,  whilst  his  son  Adelbert  took  refuge  in 
Corsica ;  but  Otho  proceeded  direct  to  Rome.  During  his  progress 
towards  the  capital,  the  gates  of  every  town  were  thrown  open  be- 
fore the  mighty  King  of  the  Germans,  and  everywhere  the  inha- 
bitants were  struck  with  amazement  and  admiration,  when  they 
beheld  the  powerful  and  lofty  figures  of  the  northern  strangers. 

Otho  considered  it  worthy  of  his  own  glory,  as  well  as  of  the 
dignity  of  the  German  nation,  to  replace  upon  his  head,  on  the 
2nd  of  February,  962,  the  Roman  imperial  crown,  which  Charle- 
magne had  transferred  to  the  Germans,  thereby  testifying  to  the 
whole  world,  that  strength  and  power  were  with  that  people,  and 
that  their  monarch  was  the  first  of  all  Christian  rulers.  It  was 
under  his  protection  and  support,  that  the  church  and  its  spiritual 
head,  the  pope,  were  to  exercise  their  influence  over  the  people; 
and  in  him,  the  emperor,  every  enemy  of  order  and  justice  would 
find  a  stern  and  implacable  judge.  Thus  had,  likewise,  Charles  the 
Great  founded  anew  the  imperial  dignity,  and  thus  it  was  renewed 
by  Otho  I.  It  is  true,  the  condition  of  Europe  had  changed  since 
Charles's  time ;  then  almost  all  the  Christian  nations  were  under  his 
dominion;  whilst  there  were  various  independent  kings  who  were 
not  subject  to  him,  the  German  king.  Yet  not  one  of  them  all 
could  compare  himself  with  him ;  the  imperial  crown  had  ever  been 
justly  regarded  as  belonging  to  the  Germans,  and  the  ancestors  of 
Otho  had  none  of  them  given  up  their  claim  to  it.  Otho  was  espe- 
cially the  protector  of  the  Christian  faith  towards  the  north  and 
east;  he  ruled  in  Burgundy;  his  authority  was  the  ruling  one  in 
France,  where  his  brother,  Bruno,  of  Lorraine,  acted  as  arbitrator  and 
judge,  and  as  which  he  was  acknowledged  by  all;  and  now,  having 
subjected  Italy,  to  him  alone  belonged  the  dignity  of  Emperor  of 
the  Western  Christendom. 

Many  have  spoken  against  the  renewal  of  the  empire,  and  have 
particularly  censured  King  Otho,  that  he  cast  this  great  burden 
upon  Germany.  The  union  of  the  two  countries  was  the  source  of  the 
greatest  misfortune  to  Germany,  which  sacrificed  so  many  men  for 
the  foreign  ally,  whilst  at  home  it  was  itself  entirely  neglected  by 
its  own  hereditary  rulers.  But  what  God  had  prepared  as  a  great 
transition  in  the  fate  of  a  nation,  and  what  a  number  of  excellent 
men  in  former  times  acknowledged  as  necessary  and  good,  cannot  be 
rejected  by  the  judgment  of  later  descendants.  It  has  been  the 
game  with  the  papacy;  many  have  expended  their  gall  against  it,  as 
having  only  contributed  to  the  diffusion  of  darkness,  superstition, 
and  spiritual  slavery.  But  those  who  thus  express  themselves,  mix 


In  their  censure  all  ages,  and  are  unable  to  transport  themselves 
into  those  wherein  the  imperial  throne  and  the  papal  chair  were 
necessary  links  in  the  great  chain  of  historical  development. 

It  is  not  difficult  for  the  unprejudiced  and  candid  mind  to  perceive 
the  grand  idea  which  served  as  the  foundation  of  both.  In  those 
times  when  rude  force  exercised  its  dominion,  the  emperor,  with 
the  scales  of  justice  in  his  hand,  presided  as  judge  between  Chris- 
tian nations,  and  exerted  himself  for  the  peace  of  the  world  exter- 
nally; whilst,  on  his  part,  the  pope  guided  the  empire  of  internal 
peace,  piety,  and  virtue.  As  the  condition  of  life  was  yet  rude,  and 
civil  institutions  still  so  imperfect,  that  the  state  could  not  of  itself 
undertake  to  superintend  mental  cultivation;  therefore,  the  church 
and  schools,  the  clergy  and  teachers,  necessarily  stood  under  the 
supremacy  of  the  head  of  the  church,  whose  care  it  was  that  the 
truth  and  gentleness  of  the  divine  word  should  illumine  all  Chris- 
tian nations,  and  unite  them  into  one  empire  of  faith. 

With  respect  to  the  danger  which  might  threaten — viz. :  that,  in 
the  first  place,  the  one  of  these  two  powers  might  bring  under  its 
dominion  the  body  by  means  of  the  sword,  and  thence  require  what 
was  unjust;  and  that,  in  the  second  place,  the  other  would  so  bind 
the  conscience,  that  it  might  force  it  not  to  put  faith  in  truth  itself, 
but  merely  in  the  word  as  given — a  sufficient  protection  was  pro- 
vided, in  either  case,  inasmuch  as  the  said  power,  both  of  the  em- 
peror and  the  pope,  was  less  an  external  than  an  internal  power, 
founded  solely  upon  the  veneration  of  nations.  Such  an  authority 
can  never  be  lastingly  misused  without  destroying  itself. 

It  is  true  that  not  all  emperors  have  truly  seized  the  idea  of  their 
dignity,  or  else,  perhaps,  such  great  obstructions  stood  in  their  way 
that  they  could  not  execute  it ;  and  thus,  also,  the  popes  not  having 
always  retained  themselves  within  the  limits  of  those  rights  which 
were  accorded  to  them  alone  in  the  dominion  of  the  church,  both 
powers,  which  should  have  worked  in  unity  together,  and  the  one 
have  made  the  other  perfect,  have,  in  their  enmity,  at  last  destroyed 
each  other.  But — and  this  is  the  chief  point — the  grand  idea  itself 
must  above  all  things  be  well  distinguished  from  its  execution.  The 
more  glorious  it  is,  the  greater  is  its  contradiction  to  the  fallibility  of 
human  nature,  and  the  low  bias  of  many  ages ;  and  the  ill-success  of 
its  accomplishment  cannot  detract  from  its  own  dignity  or  from  the 
greatness  of  those  who  have  contended  for  it. 

With  respect  to  the  sacrifice  of  men  in  the  Italian  expedition,  it 
depends  upon  the  question,  whether  the  object  to  be  obtained  was 
great  and  important  or  not.  If  it  was  so,  the  sacrifice  must  not  be 
taken  into  consideration,  if  battle  and  war  may  be  allowed  for  a  high 
and  necessary  purpose.  And  the  emperors  who  with  noble-minded 
dispositions  and  intentions,  made  this  sacrifice  for  the  idea  of  an 
empire,  and  the  honour  of  their  nation,  are  not,  therefore,  to  be 

The  noble  pride,  however,  felt  by  the  Germans  in  the  thought,  that 


tliey  and  tlieir  rulers  should  be  the  central  point  of  Christianity;  the 
conviction  of  their  strength,  made  manifest  by  the  daring  courage  of 
the  small  forces,  composed  of  their  countrymen,  in  venturing  across 
the  Alps,  and  who,  when  reaching  their  destination,  by  the  superiority 
of  their  nature  gave  laws  to  a  numerous  and  populous  nation ;  these 
recollections  of  the  ancient  glory  of  our  nation,  still  existing  in  us 
the  later  descendants — all  this  is  the  reward  for  the  sacrifice  made. 

Other  advantages,  becoming  more  and  more  immediately  manifest, 
arising  from  the  union  of  Germany  with  Italy,  will  be  shown  in  the 
course  of  our  history.  We  only  mention  in  advance  the  great  influence 
which  the  example  of  the  free  Italian  cities,  and,  in  particular,  the 
flourishing  state  of  commerce  there,  had  upon  the  rise  and  successful 
progress  of  German  towns,  an  advantage  the  importance  of  which 
cannot  be  too  highly  estimated. 

Otho  speedily  exercised  his  right  of  protectorship  over  the  church, 
and  his  oflice  of  superior  Christian  ruler,  against  the  same  pope  who 
had  crowned  him.  John  XII.  had  recalled  from  Corsica  the  son  of 
Berengar,  for  the  purpose  of  placing  him  in  opposition  against  the  em- 
peror;  and,  in  addition  to  this  was  charged  by  the  Roman  people,  and 
the  clergy,  with  the  most  serious  crimes.  John  sprang  from  a  very  cor- 
rupt race,  and  had  become  pope  as  early  as  in  his  eighteenth  year. 
Otho  hereupon  convoked  a  council,  consisting  of  forty  bishops  and 
seventeen  cardinals,  and  as  John,  upon  the  emperor's  citation,  refused 
to  appear  before  these  assembled  fathers,  he  was  deposed  from  his  dig- 
nity, and  Leo  VIII.  chosen  instead.  The  Roman  people,  as  well  as  the 
clergy,  now  swore  to  elect  no  pope  in  future  without  the  consent  of 
the  emperor.  The  popes  from  this  time  again  called  the  emperor  their 
lord,  and  in  acknowledgment  of  his  supremacy,  placed  his  name  upon 
their  coins,  and  marked  the  years  of  his  reign  upon  their  bulls. 

But  the  Romans  soon  forgot  their  oath,  drove  away  Pope  Leo, 
and  recalled  the  deposed  John,  after  whose  death,  which  speedily 
followed,  they  elected  another  pope,  Benedict,  in  opposition.  The 
patience  of  the"emperor  was  now  exhausted,  and  he  exercised  a  heavy 
punishment  upon  the  perjured  Romans.  He  returned  again  with 
his  army,  laid  waste  the  country  around  Rome,  surrounded  and  be- 
sieged the  city,  and  forced  the  inhabitants  to  surrender  and  open  the 
gates,  and  to  give  up  the  pope,  Benedict,  into  his  hands.  He  then 
convoked  a  large  assembly  of  the  bishops  and  clergy,  and  in  their 
presence  Benedict  was  divested  of  his  insignia,  and  at  once  banished, 
whilst  Leo  was  replaced  upon  the  throne. 

Meantime  Berengar,  with  his  wife,  Willa,  had  been  taken  pri- 
soners by  the  emperor's  generals,  and  were  conveyed  to  Bamberg, 
where  after  their  imprisonment  they  shortly  died.  The  emperor 
himself,  after  he  had  thus  established  his  dominion,  returned  in  the 
beginning  of  the  year,  965,  to  Germany,  and  celebrated  at  Cologne, 
with  his  beloved  brother,  Bruno,  his  mother,  his  son  Otho,  and 
nephews,  together  with  a  numerous  assemblage  of  the  nobles  of  his 


empire,  the  joyful  event  of  Iris  return  among  them  after  a  long  and 
trying  time  of  absence. 

But  already  in  the  following  year,  966,  his  presence  was  again  re- 
quired in  Italy  through  the  disturbances  caused  by  Adelbert,  the  son 
of  Berengar,  and  the  revolt  of  the  Romans  against  their  pope.  His 
appearance,  however,  once  more  produced  order  and  peace;  and  he 
was  now  enabled  to  turn  his  attention  to  Lower  Italy,  where  the  em- 
peror of  Greece  still  had  his  governor,  and  then  to  Sicily,  whence 
the  Saracens  threatened  entire  Italy.  It  was  now  Otho's  wish  to  form 
an  alliance  with  the  family  of  the  Greek  emperor,  in  order,  thereby, 
to  open  a  prospect  for  his  own  house  upon  Lower  Italy,  as  well  as  to 
become  enabled  to  ward  off  more  effectually  the  inroads  of  the  un- 

He  sent  for  his  son  Otho  from  Germany,  and  had  him  crowned 
as  future  emperor  by  the  pope,  and  then  despatched  an  embassy  to 
Constantinople,  for  the  purpose  of  demanding  Theophania,  the 
daughter  of  the  emperor,  in  marriage  for  his  son.  Connected  with 
this  embassy  Luitprand,  whom  Otho  had  made  Bishop  of  Cremona, 
relates  a  singular  circumstance,  although,  from  his  hatred  of  the 
Greeks,  with  evident  exaggeration  :  u  We  arrived  here,"  he  says, 
"in  June,  and  were  immediately  supplied  with  a  guard  of  honour, 
so  that  we  could  not  go  anywhere  without  an  escort.  On  the  second 
day  of  our  arrival  we  proceeded  on  horseback  to  the  audience. 
The  Emperor  Nicephorus  is  a  short,  stout  man,  so  brown  that,  in  a 
forest,  he  would  strike  us  with  terror.  He  said,  *  he  lamented  that 
our  lord  and  ruler  had  shown  the  daring  boldness  to  assume  and  ap- 
propriate Rome  to  himself,  and  to  destroy  two  such  honourable  men 
as  Berengar  and  Adelbert,  and  then  to  carry  fire  and  sword  even  into 
Grecian  countries  : '  he  added  '  that  he  knew  we  had  counselled  our 
lord  to  it/  We  replied :  *  Our  lord,  the  emperor,  has  delivered  Rome 
from  tyranny  and  sinners,  which  he  has  come  from  the  end  of  the 
earth  into  Italy  to  accomplish,  whilst  others  have  remained  indolently 
sleeping  upon  their  thrones,  and  deemed  such  great  confusion  and 
anarchy  beneath  their  dignity  to  notice.  Besides  which, '  we  added, ;  we 
have  amongst  us  those  brave  and  loyal  knights,  who  are  always  ready 
and  prepared  to  maintain,  by  single  combat  at  arms,  the  justice  and 
virtue  of  our  master.  Yet  we  have  come  here  with  views  and 
intentions  of  peace,  and  for  the  purpose  of  demanding  the  Princess 
Theophania  in  marriage  for  Otho,  our  prince,  and  eldest  son  of  our 
lord  and  emperor.'  To  which  the  emperor  observed :  '  It  is  now 
time  to  go  to  the  procession.  We  will  attend  to  this  matter  at  a  more 
convenient  moment.'  The  grand  procession,  wherein  the  king  ap- 
peared, attired  in  a  long  mantle,  escorted  by  soldiers  or  city  volun- 
teers, without  halbertSj  passed  along  slowly  amidst  the  acclamations 
of  the  people. 

lf  When  at  table,  he  wished  to  censure  our  mode  of  warfare,  saying 
our  arms  were  much  too  heavy,  whilst  the  Germans  appeared  to  be 
only  valiant  when  they  were  drunk ;  and  that  the  true  Romans  were 


only  now  to  be  found  in  Constantinople.  When  he  said  this,  he  made 
a  sign  to  me  with  his  hand  that  I  should  be  silent.  At  another  time 
he  spoke  of  the  affairs  of  the  church,  and  asked,  mockingly,  whether 
any  council  had  ever  been  convoked  in  Saxony?  I  replied,  'that 
where  there  was  most  sickness,  there  was  most  need  of  the  greatest 
number  of  doctors ;  that  all  heresies  had  originated  with  the  Greeks, 
and  therefore  church  councils  were  more  necessary  to  be  held 
amongst  them.  Nevertheless  I  knew  of  one  council  being  assembled 
in  Saxony,  where  it  had  been  pronounced  that  it  was  more  glorious 
to  fight  with  the  sword  in  hand  than  with  the  pen.' 

"  The  emperor  is  surrounded  with  flatterers  and  sycophants;  the 
whole  city  floats  in  sensuality,  and  even  on  holy  days  of  festival 
there  are  plays  performed.  Their  power  reposes  not  in  their  own 
strength,  but  is  dependent  upon  the  mercenary  forces  of  Amalfi,  and 
upon  Venetian  and  Russian  sailors.  I  believe  firmly  that  four  hun- 
dred Germans  in  open  field  would  put  the  whole  Greek  army  com- 
pletely to  flight." 

Nicephorus  would  not  consent  to  the  marriage,  and  Otho,  as 
emperor,  now  sought  to  extend  his  dominion  over  the  whole  of 
Lower  Italy,  which  was  divided  amongst  the  Greeks,  Saracens,  and 
native  princes.  The  history  of  these  expeditions  is  not  clearly  given ; 
but  altogether  it  appears  the  imperial  arms  were  victorious,  although 
it  was  not  possible  to  gain  any  durable  advantage  in  that  difficult 
country.  In  December,  969,  the  Emperor  Nicephorus  was  mur- 
dered in  a  revolt,  when  his  successor  very  willingly  formed  an 
alliance  with  the  Emperor  of  Germany.  The  Princess  Theophania 
was  crowned  in  Rome  in  the  year  972,  by  the  Pope,  John  XIII., 
and  united  to  the  young  prince,  Otho.  The  emperor  himself  now 
returned  to  Germany,  after  an  absence  of  six  years,  in  order  that  he 
might  enjoy  some  little  peace  at  the  close  of  a  life  so  rich  in  striking 

The  great  influence  which  Otho  had  acquired  throughout  the  en- 
tire western  world,  was  satisfactorily  proved  to  the  German  nation 
during  the  last  few  months  of  his  life.  Having  gone  to  Qucdlin- 
burg  to  visit  the  grave  of  his  mother,  Matilda,  he  was  there  waited 
upon  by  the  rulers  of  the  Poles  and  Bohemians,  the  chiefs  Mjesko  and 
Boleslas,  in  order  to  receive  his  opinion  and  judgment  in  their  affairs; 
and  these  were  immediately  followed  by  the  ambassadors  of  the  Ro- 
mans, Beneventanians,  Greeks,  Bulgarians,  Slavonians,  Danes,  and 
Hungarians,  and  the  whole  completed  by  an  embassy  from  the  Sa- 
racens in  Africa,  which  arrived  shortly  afterwards  at  Merseburg. 

Just  at  this  time,  however,  he  was  very  much  affected  by  the 
death  of  his  faithful  friend,  Herman,  Duke  of  Saxony,  who  died 
in  Quedlinburg  on  the  27th  of  March,  973.  Grieved  at  the  loss  of 
that  good  man,  says  Widukind,  he  wandered  solitary  and  dejected 
amongst  the  graves  of  those  he  had  held  so  dear.  Alas,  how  many 
of  these  had  already  preceded  him  in  their  departure  from  this  life, 


reminding  him  of  his  own  past  career,  so  troubled,  so  eventful,  but 
yet  in  many  respects  so  glorious  ! 

When  on  the  6th  of  May  he  arrived  at  his  castle  in  Memleben, 
where  his  father  had  died,  he  felt  himself  extremely  weak.  Never- 
theless he  attended  service  in  the  chapel  on  the  following  morning, 
gave  his  usual  alms  to  the  poor,  and  then  reposed  again.  At  mid- 
day he  again  appeared,  and  at  the  appointed  time  he  took  his  meal 
at  dinner  with  cheerfulness  and  enjoyment,  upon  which  he  attended 
the  evening  service.  It  was  then  he  suddenly  felt  overcome  with  a 
burning  fever,  and  he  was  assisted  to  a  chair  by  the  princes  in  attend- 
ance. But  his  head  sunk ;  he  felt  his  approaching  end,  and  indicat- 
ing his  -wishes  by  signs,  he  was  immediately  assisted  in  the  solemn 
service  of  the  holy  communion.  Just  after  he  had  received  it,  and 
when  the  holy  ceremony  was  over,  as  Widukind  states,  he  ended 
his  mortal  career,  and  without  a  sigh,  tranquilly  breathed  his  last,  on 
the  7th  of  May,  973,  aged  sixty-one  years,  and  in  the  thirty-eighth 
of  his  reign. 

His  body  was  conveyed  to  Magdeburg,  his  favourite  city,  and 
being  deposited  in  a  marble  coffin,  was  placed  as  he  had  wished,  on 
the  side  of  his  beloved  Edgitha,  in  the  church  of  St.  Maurice. 

Otho  II.,  who,  in  the  eighteenth  year  of  his  age,  now  succeeded 
to  the  throne,  very  soon  had  reason  to  find  that  the  task  which 
had  thus  early  devolved  upon  his  shoulders,  of  maintaining,  in  all 
its  supremacy,  the  powerful  empire  of  his  father,  extending,  as  it 
did,  from  the  boundaries  of  the  Danish  country  to  nearly  the  ex- 
tensive points  of  Lower  Italy,  was  not  a  little  arduous  and  difficult. 
For  in  the  north  and  east,  the  Danes  and  Slavonians  continued  still 
unwilling  subjects  or  neighbours;  in  the  west,  the  French  rulers 
were  jealous  rivals;  in  the  south  of  Italy,  the  Greeks  and  Arabs 
were  anxiously  watching  for  an  opportunity  to  extend  their  power; 
whilst,  in  the  interior  of  Germany  itself,  many  parties  stood  in  a 
condition  of  direct  hostility  towards  each  other. 

In  this  critical  position,  the  necessary  strength  and  energy  of  body 
were  certainly  not  wanting  in  the  young  monarch,  as  was  sufficiently 
shown  by  his  figure,  which,  although  rather  short,  was,  nevertheless, 
strong  and  firmly  knit  together,  whilst  his  healthy  constitution  was 
indicated  by  the  florid,  ruddy  hue  of  his  cheeks,  and  which,  in  fact, 
procured  for  him  the  by-name  of  Otho  the  Florid,  or  Red.  But 
wisdom  and  forethought  were  not  as  yet  at  his  command;  and  it 
was  for  him  a  misfortune  that,  even  asa  child,  he  had  been  designated  as 
the  sovereign ;  for  he  thus  became  proud  and  violent,  extreme  and 
unequal  in  his  conduct;  whilst  mildness  and  severity  were  with  him 
in  constant  interchange,  and  his  liberality  at  times  bordered  upon 
extravagance  itself.  Had  time,  however,  enabled  him  to  moderate 
these  strong  passions  of  youth,  and  thus,  by  the  experience  of  in- 
creased years,  have  ripened  and  brought  to  perfection  his  nobler 
qualities,  he  might  then  have  been  included  in  the  list  of  the  most 


distinguished  rulers  of  our  country.  But  fate  ordained  otherwise ; 
and  lie  was  struck  down,  in  the  bloom  of  manhood,  at  the  age  of 
twenty-eight  years. 

The  very  first  years  of  his  reign  were  already  fully  occupied  with 
the  different  disputes  and  dissensions  in  the  empire,  but  more 
especially  with  that  produced  by  his  cousin  Henry,  the  second 
Duke  of  Bavaria  or  the  Turbulent,  who  had  revolted  against  the 
young  emperor,  but  who,  however,  was  taken  prisoner,  and  deprived 
of  his  duchy ;  as  likewise  by  the  rising  of  Harold  of  Denmark  against 
Otho,  who  was  forced  to  march  against  him,  and  completely  sub- 
dued him. 

Soon  afterwards,  France  made  an  attempt  to  acquire  the  Lorraine 
dominion,  which,  by  the  division  of  Verdun,  was  fixed  in  the  centre 
between  Germany  and  France,  but  had  now  become  united  with 
Germany.  The  king,  Lothaire,  secretly  collected  his  army,  and 
whilst  Otho,  completely  unprepared,  was  holding  a  court  on  the 
occasion  of  the  feast  of  St.  John,  in  978,  in  the  ancient  im- 
perial palatinate  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  he  suddenly  advanced,  and, 
by  forced  marches,  without  even  announcing  hostilities,  hastened 
on  to  that  city,  in  order  to  take  the  emperor  prisoner.  Fortu- 
nately, Otho  received  intelligence  of  the  enemy's  approach  in  time 
to  enable  him  to  quit  the  place  on  the  day  before  his  arrival.  Lo- 
thaire took  possession  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,  and  plundered  it,  whilst 
at  the  same  time  he  commanded  the  eagle,  erected  in  the  grand 
square  of  Charles  the  Great,  to  be  turned  towards  the  west,  in  sign 
that  Lorraine  now  belonged  to  France.  But  Otho  forthwith  held  a 
diet  of  the  princes  and  nobles  at  Dortmund,  represented  to  them, 
with  the  most  impressive  eloquence,  the  faithlessness  of  the  French. 
king,  and  summoned  them  to  march  against  the  presumptuous  enemy. 
They  all  unanimously  promised  their  assistance,  forgetting  every  in- 
ternal dispute,  for  it  now  concerned  the  honour  of  the  country. 

Accordingly,  on  the  1st  of  October,  978,  a  considerable  army 
marched  into  France,  and  without  meeting  with  much  opposition, 
advanced,  by  Rheims  and  Soissons,  as  far  as  Paris.  Here,  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Seine,  around  the  Montmartre,  the  Germans  en- 
cainped,  and  their  mounted  troops  scoured  the  whole  of  the  country 
around,  committing  devastation  everywhere.  The  city  itself  was 
garrisoned  by  the  duke,  Hugo  Capet;  the  Seine  divided  the  two 
armies,  but  the  French  did  not  venture  out  to  give  battle.  Otho, 
however,  could  not  succeed  in  taking  the  city,  which  was  strongly 
fortified ;  and  as  winter  now  advanced — it  being  the  end  of  Novem- 
ber— and  sickness  very  generally  prevailed  amongst  the  troops,  he 
commenced  a  retreat.  This  expedition  was  one  of  the  first  under- 
taken by  the  Germans  against  Paris ;  the  treacherous  attack  of  the 
French  king  was  now  punished,  nor  did  he  venture  to  make  an- 
other. In  the  treaty  of  peace  subsequently  concluded,  Lorraine 
was  secured  to  Germany  for  ever. 

In  the  year  980,  Otho  set  out  on  his  first  expedition  to  Italy, 


from  which,  however,  as  it  turned  out,  he  was  never  to  return.  He 
was  in  hopes  of  being  able  to  conquer  the  possessions  in  Lower  Italy, 
which  the  Greek  emperors  still  maintained,  and  to  which  Otho,  by 
his  marriage  with  Theophania,  laid  claim  The  Greeks,  however, 
called  to  their  aid  the  Arabs,  both  of  Africa  and  Sicily.  At  first, 
Otho  gained  some  advantages,  and,  after  a  siege  of  nearly  two 
months,  he  made  himself  master  of  Salerno.  He  then  took  Bari 
and  Taranto,  in  Apulia,  and  pressed  forward,  in  the  spring  of  982, 
to  the  mountains  of  Calabria.  He  beat  the  combined  army  of  the 
Greeks  and  Arabs,  first  at  Rossano,  where  they  had  waited  for 
him  in  a  strong  position,  and  then  overthrowing  them  at  Coterna, 
pursued  them  as  far  as  Squillace,  where  another  decisive  battle  was 
fought  on  the  13th  of  July,  982.  The  imperial  troops  rushed 
with  the  greatest  impetuosity  upon  the  ranks  of  the  Greeks, 
who  held  out  bravely  until  mid-day,  when  they  fell  back  upon 
Squillace.  The  successful  troops,  abandoning  themselves  now 
too  eagerly  to  their  elated  hopes  of  victory  and  pillage,  felt  so 
secure,  that  they  laid  aside  their  arms,  and  marched  leisurely  and 
confidently  along  the  banks  of  the  river  Corace.  But  here  they 
were  suddenly  fallen  upon  by  an  ambuscade  of  the  Arabs,  hitherto 
concealed  behind  the  rocks,  and  were  speedily  surrounded  on  every 
side  by  innumerable  hordes  of  these  swift  warriors.  The  scattered 
troops  were  completely  overpowered,  and  either  cut  to  pieces  or 
made  prisoners  by  the  enemy ;  and  only  a  very  small  number  of 
that  army,  but  a  short  time  before  so  triumphant,  were  enabled  to 
save  themselves.  The  emperor  himself,  as  it  were,  by  a  miracle, 
escaped  by  plunging  into  the  sea,  mounted  as  he  was  on  his  trusty 
steed,  and  swimming  towards  a  Greek  vessel.  The  crew  received 
him  on  board,  not  knowing  the  high  rank  of  the  imperial  fugitive, 
yet  hoping  to  receive  a  handsome  ransom  from  him  as  a  distin- 
guished knight,  for  which  they  held  him  to  be.  By  means  of  & 
slave  on  board,  who  had  recognised,  but  not  betrayed  him,  he  saved 
himself  a  second  time,  near  Rossano,  by  springing  from  this  ship, 
and  swimming  on  shore;  and,  after  safely  reaching  land,  he  entered 
that  city,  and  there  joined  his  queen. 

In  this  disastrous  scene,  many  German  and  Italian  princes  and  no- 
bles perished,  amongst  whom  were  Udo,  Duke  of  Franconia,  the 
Margraves  Berthold  and  Giinther,  Henry,  Bishop  of  Augsburg  (who 
had  likewise  fought  in  the  ranks),  together  with  numerous  others; 
and  all  the  conquered  portions  of  the  country  in  Lower  Italy  fell 
again  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy. 

Full  of  sorrow  and  vexation,  the  emperor  proceeded  to  Upper 
Italy,  in  order  to  collect  another  army.  He  held  a  grand  assembly 
in  Verona,  consisting  of  both  German  and  Italian  princes  and  no- 
bles, and  his  mother,  together  with  his  queen  and  infant  son,  Otho, 
then  only  three  years  old,  were  likewise  present ;  he  succeeded  in 
having  the  latter  at  once  elected  by  all  the  princes  as  his  successor. 
It  was,  at  the  same  time,  determined  that  the  child  should  be  taken 


back  to  Germany,  under  the  charge  of  Willigis,  Archbishop  of 
Mentz,  and  be  crowned  on  the  following  Christmas  (983),  in  the 
ancient  imperial  city  of  Aix-la-Chapelle. 

The  emperor,  himself,  however,  after  he  had  regulated  the  affairs 
of  Upper  Italy,  repaired  to  Rome.  There  he  arranged  to  have  his 
chancellor,  Peter  of  Pavia,  elected  as  pope  (John  XIV.);  and  this 
was  his  last  public  act.  Overwhelmed  with  the  important  plans  he 
nourished  in  his  heart  for  his  next  campaign  in  Lower  Italy,  as  well 
as  with  the  excitement  produced  upon  his  impatient  and  nervous 
mind,  by  the  sad  reverses  of  the  previous  year,  and  the  multifarious 
cares  of  his  government,  he  was,  in  a  few  days,  attacked  by  a  raging 
fever,  of  which  he  died,  in  the  presence  of  his  queen,  the  pope,  and 
several  of  his  faithful  adherents,  on  the  7th  of  December,  983,  in 
the  28th  year  of  his  age.  He  was  buried  in  the  church  of  St.  Peter, 
in  Rome.  The  news  of  his  death  reached  Aix-la-Chapelle  the  day 
after  the  coronation  of  his  infant  son  had  been  celebrated  in  the  as- 
sembly of  all  the  princes. 

The  very  tender  age  of  the  new  sovereign,  Otho  III.,  would  have 
been  a  great  misfortune  for  Germany,  had  not  his  mother,  Queen 
Theophania,awoman  of  extraordinary  genius,  been  enabled  to  under- 
take, during  his  minority,  the  direction  and  control  of  the  affairs  of 
the  imperial  government  with  adequate  spirit  and  energy,  and  if, 
likewise,  among  the  greater  portion  of  the  German  princes  there  had 
not  existed  a  faithful  adherence  towards  the  imperial  house,  and  a 
general  desire  for  peace  and  order.  For  immediately  after  the  death 
of  Otho  II.,  Henry,  the  deposed  Duke  of  Bavaria,  after  having  been 
set  at  liberty  by  Poppo,  Bishop  of  Utrecht,  into  whose  custody  he 
had  been  given,  came  forward  again  with  his  pretensions,  and 
even  demanded,  as  nearest  relation,  to  have  the  sole  guardianship 
of  the  young  king.  The  Archbishop  of  Cologne,  Warin,  under 
whose  protection  the  infant  had  been  placed,  actually  delivered  him 
up  to  Henry,  who  held  him  under  his  control  during  a  whole  year. 
The  queen-mother,  Theophania,  who,  according  to  her  deceased  hus- 
band's will,  was  to  have  the  guardianship  of  the  child,  was  still  in 
Italy;  and  when  she  returned,  Henry  had  already  so  strengthened 
his  party,  that  he  contemplated  taking  possession  of  the  government 
himself.  He  had  lost  no  time  in  forming  a  league  with  those  no- 
bles who  were  devoted  to  his  interests,  and  had  already  agreed  with 
them  under  what  conditions  they  should  give  their  assistance  and 
support  towards  raising  him  to  the  throne.  At  the  same  time,  the 
French  king,  Lothaire,  availing  himself  of  the  disunion  in  Germany, 
had  again  stretched  out  his  hand  to  grasp  the  Lorraine  country,  and 
had  got  possession  of  the  important  town  and  fortress  of  Verdun. 

The  Slavonians  on  the  northern  and  eastern  frontiers  who,  during 
the  years  that  Otho  II.  was  in  Italy,  had,  by  their  united  strength, 
almost  entirely  shaken  off  the  German  dominion,  re-established  pa- 
ganism, and  made  many  successful  depredatory  incursions  in  the 
various  German  possessions,  now,  together  with  the  Dukes  of  Poland 



and  Bohemia  on  their  part,  promised  the  rebel,  Henry  of  Bavaria, 
their  assistance  in  his  revolutionary  plans.  Thus  the  condition  of 
the  Germanic  empire  had  at  this  moment  become  extremely  critical. 

But  the  alliance  of  Henry  with  the  barbarians  only  served  to  bring 
back  to  their  proper  recollection  all  those  nobles  of  Saxony  and 
Thuringia  who  had  hitherto  formed  the  majority  of  the  renegade's 
partisans,  and  they  turned  from  him  and  joined  the  ranks  of  the 
legitimate  party,  headed  by  the  Dukes  Conrad  of  Swabia,  Bernard 
of  Saxony,  and  the  newly  created  Duke  of  Bavaria  (recently  elected 
by  Otho  II.),  Henry  the  younger,  of  the  house  of  Babenber^  ; 
the  whole  of  whom,  with  Willigis," Archbishop  of  Mentz,  had  still 
maintained  their  fidelity  towards  the  young  monarch  and  his  royal 
mother.  In  Lorraine,  also,  a  party  rose  up  to  defend  the  cause  of 
Otho,  the  heart  and  soul  of  which  was  the  distinguished  ecclesiastic, 
Gerbert,  the  most  learned  man  of  his  time  ;  possessing  a  knowledge 
of  all  the  sciences,  but,  more  especially,  so  profoundly  read  in 
natural  philosophy,  that  he  was  regarded  as  a  magician.  At  the  same 
time  he  possessed  great  powers  of  mind,  with  the  necessary  ener- 
getic and  penetrating  capacity  for  action  in  all  political  matters; 
and  in  his  office  of  tutor  to  the  young  emperor,  to  which  he  was 
appointed  subsequently,  he  continued  to  assist  him  with  his  valuable 
counsel  until  his  death. 

Thence,  by  means  of  this  combined  operation  on  the  part  of  all 
his  faithful  friends  and  stanch  adherents  of  the  imperial  house, 
Henry  the  Turbulent,  was  forced,  at  a  grand  diet  held  at  Rora,* 
in  the  month  of  June,  984,  to  surrender  into  the  hands  of  the 
queen-mother  and  grandmother,  who  were  both  present,  the  infant 
emperor.  In  the  same  year,  also,  the  desired  union  of  peace  and 
friendship  between  Henry  and  the  guardians  was  completely  re- 
stored and  firmly  established  at  the  diet  of  Worms  ;  Henry  and" 
his  friends  swearing  fealty  to  the  sovereign,  and  which  he  continued 
to  hold  sacred  from  that  day  ;  nay,  through  leading  subsequently,  a 
life  of  peace,  piety,  and  charity,  he  earned  for  himself  the  by-name 
of  the  peaceful,  instead  of  the  turbulent  Henry.  In  the  follow- 
ing year  he  received  again  his  long  wished-for  duchy  of  Bava- 
ria, in  return  for  resigning  which,  Henry  the  younger,  was  indem- 
nified with  the  Duchy  of  Carinthia,  which  had  become  again  sepa- 
rated from  Bavaria,  together  with  the  Veronian  marches.  Other 
nobles  were  bound  to  the  new  government  by  presents  and  gifts  of 
land.  The  margraviates,  erected  to  oppose  the  Slavonians  and  Hun- 
garians, were  fortified  anew,  and  supplied  with  faithful  guards;  the 
Dukes  Micislas  of  Poland  and  Boleslas  of  Bohemia  returned  to 
their  allegiance,  and  thus,  by  wisdom,  prudence,  and  firmness,  both 
the  empresses  restored  once  more  the  order  and  tranquillity  of  the 
German  empire  internally,  and  again  promoted  and  established  its  in- 
fluential claims  for  respect  externally. 

*  The  exact  site  of  this  place  cannot  be  traced. 


In  the  year  987,  after  the  death  of  Lotliaire,  France  likewise 
concluded  a  treaty  of  peace,  and  Ms  son  and  successor,  Louis  V., 
surrendered  to  Germany  the  bishopric  of  Verdun.  He  was  the 
last  of  the  race  of  the  Carlovingians  on  the  throne  of  France ;  and, 
after  his  death,  in  the  same  year,  the  house  of  the  Capetingians 
followed  in  the  person  of  Hugo  Capet,  his  successor. 

In  Rome,  after  the  Empress  Theophania  had  returned  to  Ger- 
many, great  disturbances  broke  out,  and  the  patrician  Crescentius, 
especially,  exercised  the  greatest  tyranny  in  the  city.  The  empress, 
however,  having  beheld  Germany  tranquillised,  and  the  dominion 
of  her  son  established,  returned  in  988  to  Rome,  and  with  her 
innate  power  and  wisdom,  caused  the  authority  of  Crescentius  to 
be  checked  and  restricted  within  its  proper  limits.  Unhappily,  this 
distinguished  woman  died  too  soon  for  the  times  she  lived  in,  her 
death  taking  place  already  in  the  year  991,  at  Nimwegen. 

The  education  of  the  young  emperor,  now  eleven  years  old, 
henceforward  devolved  more  especially  upon  Bernward,  of  Hildes- 
heim,  a  most  excellent,  and,  for  his  time,  a  very  learned  man,  into 
whose  hands  Queen  Theophania  had  already  confided  her  son.  He 
treated  the  boy  with  mildness,  but  at  the  same  time  with  firmness, 
and  gained  his  entire  good-will  and  confidence.  Bernward's  position 
became  one  of  very  great  and  decided  importance,  in  connexion  with 
the  relations  of  the  government  subsequently,  particularly  after  he 
was  appointed  in  the  year  993,  Bishop  of  Hildesheim;  for  in  the 
northern  frontiers  of  the  empire  there  was  continually  fresh  cause, 
even  from  year  to  year,  for  contention  with  the  Slavonians  or  Nor- 
mans, either  by  warding  off  their  attacks  at  home,  or  in  order  to 
punish  them,  by  sending  expeditions  into  their  own  land. 

When  the  youthful  monarch  had  attained  his  sixteenth  year,  his 
grandmother,  Queen  Adelaide,  expressed  a  desire  to  behold  the 
head  of  her  grandson  decorated  likewise  with  the  imperial  crown. 
Accordingly,  in  February,  996,  he  commenced  his  first  Roman  ex- 
pedition, and  all  the  nations  of  the  Germans,  Saxons,  Franks,  Bava- 
rians, Swabians,  and  Lorrainians,  yielded  on  this  occasion  military 
service,  and  joined  in  the  ranks  of  the  multitudinous  train.  He  was 
crowned  emperor  on  Ascension-day,  the  21st  of  May  in  that  year, 
by  Gregory  V.,  the  first  pope  of  German  origin  who  had,  as  yet, 
presided  on  the  papal  chair,  and  who  exerted  himself  with  great 
perseverance  to  bring  into  order  the  confused  state  of  the  Roman 
relations.  The  patrician,  Crescentius,  was  pardoned  for  the  turbu- 
lent proceedings  he  had  hitherto  pursued;  but  scarcely  had  the 
emperor  returned  to  Germany,  when  the  ungrateful  Roman  again 
revolted,  and  banished  Pope  Gregory  from  the  capital.  Otho  was 
forced,  therefore,  to  march  an  army  into  Italy  a  second  time  in 
the  year  997,  and  conducting  the  pope  back  again  to  Rome,  he 
besieged  Crescentius,  in  the  fortress  of  Engelsburg,  which  he  took 
by  storm,  and  the  traitor  was  forthwith  beheaded  on  the  battlements 
of  the  burg,  in  view  of  the  whole  army  and  people. 

N  2 


Pope  Gregory  died  in  the  year  999,  and  Otho  caused  his 
esteemed  instructor  and  councillor,  Gerbert,  to  be  elected  to  the  papal 
chair,  who  adopted  the  title  of  Sylvester  II. 

Otho,  who  always  felt  a  great  preference  for  Rome  and  Italy 
generally,  would  fain  have  wished  to  remain  longer  there,  but  he 
was  not  able  to  bear  the  enervating  effects  of  that  hot  climate. 
Altogether,  he  did  not  enjoy  the  strongest  constitution,  and  his 
health  was  not  always  in  the  best  condition ;  besides  which,  during 
the  period  between  youth  and  manhood,  he  evinced  a  very  marked 
expression  of  sadness  and  melancholy,  and  which  often  exercised 
upon  his  mind  such  an  influence,  that,  completely  overcome,  he  re- 
sorted to  the  most  severe  self-inflicted  punishments  and  penalties. 
Thus  he  now  made  a  pilgrimage  to  Monte  Gargano,  in  Apulia,  and 
sojourned  for  a  considerable  time  in  the  monastery  of  St.  Michael, 
undergoing  the  most  severe  exercise  of  expiatory  penance.  Thence 
he  visited  the  holy  abbot,  Nilus,  near  Garta,  who,  with  his  monks, 
lived  there  in  wretched  cells,  and  in  the  most  secluded  state  of  strict 
devotion  and  humility.  Here,  likewise,  Otho  joined  in  the  exercise  of 
prayer,  and  severe  and  rigid  repentance.  Afterwards,  we  again  find 
him  following  the  same  course  of  extreme  self-punishment  in  Ra- 
venna, for  whole  days  together;  and  at  one  time  he  is  said  to  have 
passed  whole  weeks  with  the  hermits  in  the  caves  around,  fasting  and 

It  was  these  Italian  monks,  and  especially  Nilus  the  holy,  a 
venerable  man,  ninety  years  of  age,  who  had  succeeded  in  pro- 
ducing within  the  prince  this  melancholy  view  of  life,  and  filled  him 
with  such  continual  desires  to  indulge  in  gloomy  fits  of  abstinence 
and  penitential  sacrifices.  He  was  particularly  intimate  with  Adal- 
bert, the  apostle  of  the  Prussians,  who,  after  the  period  of  the  first 
Roman  campaign,  had  become  his  constant  companion,  not  quitting 
the  imperial  apartments  either  by  night  or  day,  and  who,  partly  by  the 
wish  of  Otho,  proceeded  to  the  north,  in  order  to  preach  the  holy 
gospel  to  the  pagan  Prussians,  where  he  died  a  martyr's  death,  in  the 
year  999.  When  the  religious  emperor  returned,  in  the  following 
year,  to  Germany,  he  was  urged,  by  his  affection  towards  this  friend, 
to  visit  his  grave  in  Gnesen.  As  soon  as  he  came  in  view  of  the 
town,  he  dismounted  from  his  steed,  and  continued  the  rest  of  his 
pilgrimage  to  the  sacred  spot  barefooted.  Deeply  affected,  he  poured 
forth  his  devotions  over  the  tomb  of  his  much-lamented  friend,  and 
in  recollection  of  the  scene,  he  raised  the  bishopric  of  Gnesen,  on  the 
spot,  into  an  archbishopric,  placing  under  its  authority  the  bishoprics 
of  Breslaw,  Cracovie  and  Colberg,  promoting  Adalbert's  brother, 
Gaudentius,  to  the  sacred  office. 

Combined  with  the  emotions  originating  in  Christian  humility 
and  worldly  sacrifice,  we  find,  however,  likewise  excited  within  Otho's 
soul,  (which  appears  to  have  been  subjected  to  sensations  of  the  most 
varied  nature,)  a  high  aspiring  desire  and  aim,  and,  especially,  an 
elevated  idea  of  the  supremacy  of  the  imperial  dignity.  As  the  son 


of  a  Roman-Germanic  emperor  and  the  grandson  of  a  Greek  em- 
peror; already  chosen  as  reigning  king  from  the  first  moment  of 
self-consciousness,  and,  likewise,  almost  immediately  afterwards  de- 
corated with  the  imperial  crown ;  educated  by  the  most  learned  and 
accomplished  men  of  his  time — a  Gerbert,  aBernward,  a  Meinwerk, 
(of  Paderborn),  and  by  the  Calabrian  Greek,  John  of  Placentia — 
he  held  himself  in  high  respect,  and  far  beyond  the  Germans,  who,  in 
his  opinion,  were  still  uncouth  and  savage.  He  tried  to  persuade  them 
to  lay  aside  their  Saxon  barbarism,  and  exhorted  them  to  imitate  and 
adopt  the  more  refined  and  elegant  manners  of  the  Greeks,  and  he 
even  introduced  the  customs  and  usages  of  the  latter,  amongst  the  rest, 
which  he  himself  adopted,  that  of  dining  alone  from  a  table  more  ele- 
vated than  the  others,  and  to  arrange  the  different  places  of  honour  ac- 
cording to  rank  and  distinction.  His  tutor,  Gerbert,  had  himself 
formed  a  high  idea  of  the  imperial  dignity,  which  he  had  taken 
great  pains  to  instil  in  the  youthful  mind  of  his  pupil.  "  Thou 
art  our  Caesar,  Imperator,  and  Augustus,"  he  wrote  to  him,  "  and 
descended  from  the  noblest  blood  of  the  Greeks ;  thou  art  superior  to 
them  all  in  power  and  dominion,"  &c.  Otho  had  indeed  contemplated 
the  restoration  of  the  Roman  empire,  in  its  entire  dominion,  and  no 
doubt  he  would  have  carried  his  intentions  into  effect,  by  making 
Rome  the  central  point  and  the  imperial  seat  of  government,  had  he 
only  been  able  to  endure  the  climate. 

He  regarded  the  founder  of  the  Germanic-Roman  empire,  the 
great  Charles,  as  his  model,  and  when,  in  the  year  1000,  he  visited 
Aix-la-Chapelle,  he  felt  a  desire  to  elevate  his  mind  by  the  contem- 
plation of  his  ancestor's  earthly  remains.  Accordingly  he  caused  the 
vault  to  be  unclosed,  and  descended  its  steps,  accompanied  by  two 
bishops.  He  found  the  embalmed  body  still  in  the  position  it  wag 
placed,  sitting  in  the  golden  chair,  covered  with  the  imperial  robes, 
together  with  the  sceptre  and  shield.  Otho  bent  his  knee  in  prayer, 
then  took  the  golden  cross  from  the  breast  of  the  emperor,  and 
placed  it  upon  his  own.  After  which,  before  leaving,  he  had 
the  body  covered  with  fresh  raiment,  and  then  again  solemnly  closed 
the  vault.* 

Otho's  strong  predeliction  for  Italy  drew  him  once  more  into  that 
country.  Rome  and  the  Romans  appeared  to  him  in  all  the  splen- 
dour of  their  ancient  dominion  of  the  world;  but  they  ill-returned 
the  preference  he  showed  for  them.  Whilst  he  was  sojourning  in 
Rome  in  the  spring  of  the  year  1001,  the  Romans  revolted  against 
him  because  he  had  exercised  his  lenity  towards  the  Tiburtiniaiis, 
who,  as  in  ancient  times,  still  remained  their  hated  enemies;  they 
kept  him  a  close  prisoner  in  his  own  palace  during  three  days,  so 
that  he  could  obtain  neither  food  nor  drink.  Then  it  was  that  the 
emperor  experienced  that  German  fidelity  and  rude  virtue  were  still 
better  than  the  smooth  but  slippery  words  and  more  accomplished 

*  The  emperor,  Frederick  L,  caused  the  vault  to  be  unclosed  again  in  the  year  1 165 
and  had  the  body  deposited  in  a  superb  tomb. 


manners  of  his  favourite  Italians.  Bern  ward,  the  Bishop  of  Hildes^ 
heim,  placed  himself,  with  the  sacred  royal  lance,  under  the  portico- 
of  the  palace,  and,  as  his  biographer  states,  thundered  against  it  most 
dreadfully ;  and  thus,  through  the  bishop's  resolution  and  the  aid  of 
his  faithful  adherents,  the  emperor  was  at  length  rescued  from  the 
Romans.  Nevertheless,  he  looked  over  their  bad  conduct,  and  peace 
was  resumed  for  a  short  time  longer,  but  they  soon  again  broke  out 
against  him.  He  then  prepared  at  once  to  punish  this  false  and 
treacherous  people ;  but  his  spirits  were  now  broken,  and  he  weak- 
ened and  reduced  his  body  still  more  by  nocturnal  watchings  and 
praying,  often  fasting,  too,  the  entire  week,  with  the  single  exception 
of  the  Thursday.  He  was  attacked  by  a  severe  and  inflammatory  dis- 
ease, (according  to  Dietmar,  the  small-pox,)  and  died  on  the  23d  of 
January,  1002,  at  Paterno,  in  the  twenty-second  year  of  his  age. 
The  body  was  placed  under  the  charge  and  protection  of  the  few 
German  princes  and  nobles  who  had  accompanied  the  emperor,  and 
they  lost  no  time  in  conveying  it  away  from  that  hateful  country  into 
their  native  land.  In  the  course  of  its  march,  however,  the  funeral 
procession  was  frequently  attacked  by  the  Italians,  who  were  eager 
to  get  possession  of  the  corpse,  and  it  was  only  by  the  united  efforts 
of  the  brave  and  valiant  band  of  noble  warriors  that  formed  its  escort, 
that  the  enemy  was  successfully  repulsed,  and  that,  at  length,  after 
great  difficulty,  it  arrived  safely  at  its  destination  in  Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Thus  all  the  male  descendants  of  Otho  the  Great,  his  two  sons, 
Ludolf  and  Otho  II.,  and  his  two  grandsons,  Otho  III.  and  Othor 
the  son  of  Ludolf,  died  in  Italy  in  the  bloom  of  their  youth ;  whilst 
of  the  imperial  Saxon  family,  the  great-grandson  of  Henry  I.,  Duke 
Henry  of  Bavaria,  alone  remained.  The  Germans  were  not  at  all 
inclined  towards  the  Bavarian  race ;  but  Henry,  who  had,  by  means 
of  his  generous  gifts,  already  enlisted  the  clergy  on  his  side,  and  hadr 
likewise,  in  his  possession  the  crown  jewels  and  insignia,,  succeeded 
by  degrees  in  gaining  over  one  by  one  the  individual  German  states, 
so  that,  without  a  general  electoral  assembly  taking  place,  each  trans- 
ferred to  him  the  royal  authority  with  the  sacred  lance. 

Henry  II.  has  received  the  title  of  saint  from  his  strict  and  pious 
life,  as  also  from  his  liberality  towards  the  clergy,  already  men- 
tioned. The  latter  had  acquired  extensive  possessions  under  the 
Saxon  emperors,  who  were  all  very  generous  towards  them,  and 
thence  many  of  the  leading  members  became  powerful  princes  of  the 
empire.  Like  Charlemagne,  the  kings  saw  with  pleasure  their  increase 
of  power,  in  order  that  they  might  use  it  as  a  counterpoise  to  that  of  the 
temporal  lords,  and  at  this  period  too,  the  spiritual  power  held  chiefly 
with  the  kings.  Otho  I.  had  already  began  to  unite  the  lordships 
with  the  bishoprics,  and  Henry  II.  transferred  to  many  churches  two, 
even  three  lordships,  and  to  that  of  Gandersheim  he  even  made  over 
seven.  The  partiality  and  attachment  shown  by  the  emperor  to- 
wards the  clergy  was,  no  doubt,  taken  advantage  of  by  many;  still 
among  that  body  there  were  likewise  at  this  period  many  men  who 


were  perfectly  sensible  of  the  peculiar  dignity  of  their  calling,  and 
zealously  sought  the  spiritual  welfare  of  their  community,  as  well  as 
the  progress  of  the  human  mind  in  the  arts  and  sciences,  and  all  true 
cultivation ;  of  which  the  tenth  century,  especially,  presents  us  with 
several  illustrious  instances.  Bishop  Bernward,  of  Hildesheim,  who, 
in  the  urgent  danger  of  the  emperor,  Otho  III.,  in  Rome,  displayed 
so  much  resolution,  was  a  man  of  great  intellectual  mind,  and 
nourished  the  most  profound  feeling  for  all  that  was  good  and  beau- 
tiful. During  his  many  voyages,  chiefly  in  Italy,  he  took  young 
persons  with  him  for  the  purpose  of  exercising  their  taste  in  the  ob- 
servation of  works  of  art,  and  in  their  imitation.  He  caused  the  pave- 
ments and  churches  to  be  decorated  with  mosaic  embellishment,  and 
costly  vessels  of  a  beautiful  form  to  be  cast  in  metal,  with  whichhe 
was  furnished  by  the  mines  of  gold  and  silver  in  the  Hartz,  discovered 
under  the  Emperor  Otho  I.  Thus  did  Bernward  nobly  exert  him- 
self for  his  diocese,  and  the  school  of  Hildesheim  was  one  of  the 
most  celebrated  of  that  period. 

When  in  Italy,  the  Emperor  Henry  received  a  second  by-name 
— that  of  HufFeholz  or  the  lame.  For  fresh  disturbances  hav- 
ing arisen  there  after  the  death  of  Otho  III.,  and  the  Italians  hav- 
ing made  a  margrave,  Ardovine,  their  king,  Henry,  in  order  to 
restore  order,  advanced  thither  in  the  year  1004,  put  Ardovine  to 
flight,  and  caused  himself  to  be  crowned,  with  the  iron  crown,  at 
Pavia.  Out  of  regard  for  the  city,  and  in  order  to  show  his  con- 
fidence towards  the  citizens,  he  retained  merely  a  small  body-guard, 
and  caused  the  rest  of  the  army  to  remain  outside  the  city  in  the 
camp.  The  capricious  and  inconstant  disposition  of  the  Italians  im- 
mediately became  manifested.  They  rose  in  revolt,  stormed  the 
palace  of  the  emperor,  and  threatened  his  life.  It  was  then,  in  spring- 
ing from  a  window,  that  he  lamed  his  foot.  His  companions,  al- 
though but  few,  fought  like  valiant  men,  and  successfully  resisted 
the  attacks  of  the  enemy  until  the  Germans  beyond  the  city,  hearing 
the  tumult  within,  stormed  the  walls,  and  after  severe  fighting,  broke 
through,  paved  their  way  to  the  palace  and  saved  the  king.  The  battle 
still  continued  most  furiously  in  the  streets  and  houses,  whence  the  in- 
habitants hurled  forth  stones  and  other  missiles  upon  the  troops,  who 
set  fire  to  the  whole  city,  and  which  destruction  continued  until  the 
king  put  a  stop  to  the  fury  of  his  soldiers,  and  saved  the  rest  of  the 
inhabitants.  It  was  in  this  battle  that  the  queen's  brother,  Giselbert,  a 
valiant  youth,  being  killed  by  the  Lombards,  a  brave  knight,  Wolfram, 
his  companion  in  arms,  rushed  upon  the  enemy,  struck  one  of  them, 
such  a  powerful  blow  with  his  sword  that,  passing  through  the  hel- 
met, it  separated  his  head  and  neck  down  to  the  shoulders;  and 
having  thus  revenged  the  death  of  his  noble  friend,  he  returned,  un- 
wounded,  back  to  his  comrades. 

This  conduct  of  the  Pavians  produced  great  disgust  upon  the 
open-hearted  and  honest  feelings  of  the  king,  and  as  nothing  could 


induce  him  to  remain  longer  in  Italy,  he  returned  to  Germany  as 
speedily  as  possible. 

Here,  also,  many  disturbances  arose  during  his  reign,  for  the  em- 
peror,  who,  with  his  good  and  pious  qualities,  was  much  too  weak  to 
hold  the  reins  of  his  government,  could  not  possibly  maintain  his 
authority.  In  particular  the  neighbouring  Polish  duke,  Boleslas,  an 
ambitious,  turbulent  man,  who  had  conquered  and  partially  retained 
Bohemia  and  Silesia,  gave  him  much  trouble.  For  these  coun- 
tries, however,  the  usurper  swore  allegiance  to  the  German  emperor, 
but  beyond  this  he  maintained  himself  independently,  and  made 
himself  feared  on  the  other  side  even  by  the  Russians  and  the  Greek 

Henry  visited  Italy  a  second  time  in  1013,  and  re-established  the 
pope,  Benedict  VIII.,  in  the  papal  chair;  he  swore  to  protect  him 
faithfully,  and  was  by  him  crowned  emperor.  Returning  to  Ger- 
many, he  was  especially  occupied  with  founding  the  bishopric  of 
Bamberg,  his  favourite  seat,  which  he  richly  endowed,  and  had  de- 
termined it  should  serve  as  a  monument  of  his  own  piety  as  well  as 
of  that  of  his  empress,  Cunegunde.  In  the  year  1020  he  was  much 
gratified  by  a  journey  which  Pope  Benedict  made  to  Germany,  who 
visited  him  in  Bamberg,  and  consecrated  his  holy  foundation. 

The  object  of  the  pope's  presence  in  Germany  was  more  especially 
to  induce  the  emperor  to  undertake  another  expedition  to  Italy,  in 
order  to  prevent  the  Greeks,  who  threatened  Rome  from  Lower 
Italy,  from  attacking  and  taking  possession  of  that  capital. 

And  Henry,  who  at  once  perceived  the  danger  to  which  the  church 
of  Southern  Italy  was  exposed  of  being  robbed  by  the  Greeks  of  its 
central  point  of  operation,  marched  forth,  for  the  third  time,  in 
the  year  1021,  for  that  country,  drove  the  Greeks  easily  back  to 
the  most  extreme  points  of  their  possessions  in  Lower  Italy,  con- 
quered Benevento,  Salerno,  and  Naples,  and  was  everywhere  greeted 
and  hailed  as  king.  But  as  he  never  liked  to  remain  long  in  that 
country  he  returned  to  Germany  in  1022,  and  devoted  himself  to 
the  exercise  of  devotional  and  peaceful  works. 

Henry  died  in  the  year  1024,  aged  fifty-two,  at  his  fortress,  Grone, 
in  the  Leingau  (near  Gottingen),  which  had  often  been  the  seat  of 
the  Saxon  emperors.  His  body  was  conveyed  to  Bamberg  and  there 
interred.  Subsequently,  122  years  after  his  death,  he  was  added  to 
the  calendar  of  saints  by  Pope  Eugene  III.  With  him  the  house  of 
Saxony  became  extinct,  which,  like  that  of  the  Carlo  vingians,  had  com- 
menced powerfully  but  ended  weakly.  Germany  now  required  once 
again  a  vigorous  and  great-minded  ruler,  in  order  to  save  it  from  in- 
ternal dissolution,  as  well  as  to  preserve  it  from  losing  its  dignity 
among  the  other  nations ;  for,  during  the  minority  of  Otho  III.  and 
under  Henry  II.,  the  imperial  vassals  had  committed  many  usurpa- 
tions based  upon  the  imperial  prerogatives.  The  sons  of  the  nobles, 
endowed  with  imperial  feods,  retained  them  as  if  by  right  of  inhe- 


ritance,  and  many  disputes  were  settled  only  by  an  appeal  to  the 
sword  without  any  regard  being  paid  to  the  emperor's  supreme  judi- 
cial power.  These  wars  devastated  in  particular  the  south  of  Ger- 

Meanwhile  the  Christian  countries  wherein,  together  with  the  do- 
minion of  the  church,  a  regard  for  the  imperial  dignity  was  dissemi- 
nated, were  now  become  considerably  increased  in  number.  Towards 
the  year  1000  Christianity  became  still  more  deeply  rooted  in  Hun- 
gary, Poland,  Russia,  Norway,  Sweden,  and  Denmark. 



Assemblage  of  the  Ducal  States— The  Election— Conrad  II.,  1024-1039— Re-esta- 
blishes  Internal  Peace — Italy — Canute,  King  of  England  and  Denmark — Burgundy 
—Ernest,  Duke  of  Swabia— The  Faust-Recht— Conrad's  Death,  1039— Henry 
III.,  1039-1056— The  Popes  -  Henry 's  zeal  for  the  Church— His  Death,  1056— 
Henry  IV.,  1056-1106— His  Minority—The  Archbishops— Albert  of  Bremen- 
Henry  and  the  Saxons — Their  Hostility — Henry's  Revenge — Pope  Gregory 
VII.— His  Ambition— The  Right  of  Investiture— Rupture  with  the  Emperor- 
Henry  excommunicated — The  Emperor  a  Fugitive — The  rival  Emperors  and  Popes 
— Rudolphus  of  Swabia  and  Pope  Clement  III.— Henry's  Death,  1 106— Henry  V. 
1106-1125 — Rome — Pope  Pascal  II. — The  Investiture  Contest— Sanguinary  Bat- 
tle— Henry  crowned  Emperor — His  Death,  1125 — The  First  Crusade,  1096-1099— * 
Lothairethe  Saxon,  1125-1137. 

THE  Germanic  states,  each  under  its  duke,  assembled  for  the  elec- 
tion of  a  new  emperor,  upon  the  vast  plains  along  both  banks  of  the 
Rhine,  between  Mentz  and  Worms,  near  Oppenheim.  There  were 
eight  dukes ;  Conrad  the  Younger,  who  exercised  the  ducal  power  in 
Franconia  in  the  name  of  the  king — Franconia  being  still  regarded 
as  the  king's  country — Frederick  of  Upper  Lorraine,  Gozelo  of 
Lower  Lorraine,  Bernard  of  Saxony  (of  Herman  Billung's  race), 
Henry  of  Bavaria,  Adalbert  of  Carinthia  (the  new  duchy,  separated 
under  Otho  II.  from  Bavaria,  and  which  contained  the  passes  into 
Italy),  young  Ernest  of  Swabia,  and  Othelric  or  Ulric,  of  Bo- 
hemia. The  Saxons,  the  eastern  Franks,  the  Bavarians,  and  Swa- 
bians,  together  with  the  Bohemians,  encamped  themselves  on  this 
side  of  the  Rhine;  the  Rhenish  Franks,  and  those  of  Lower  and 
Upper  Lorraine  on  the  other  side.  Thus  a  splendid  and  numerous 
assembly  or  diet  of  electors  was  here  reflected  in  the  waves  of  the 
great  German  stream. 

The  voices,  after  long  deliberation,  inclined  in  favour  of  the 
Frankishrace,  from  which  twoConrads,  surpassing  all  the  rest  in  virtue 
and  consideration,  presented  themselves — Count  Conrad  the  Elder  or 
the  Salian,  and  Conrad  the  Younger,  the  duke.  They  were  kinsmen, 
being  sons  of  two  brothers,  and  descended  from  Conrad  the  Wise,  the 
husband  of  the  daughter  of  Otho  I.,  who  fell  in  the  battle  with  the 


Hungarians  on  the  Lech ;  both  were  worthy  of  their  ancestors,  and 
upon  the  female  side  related  to  the  Saxon  imperial  branch.  The 
choice  balanced  between  them ;  the  elder  Conrad  then  advanced  to 
the  side  of  the  younger  one,  and  thus  addressed  him:  "  Do  not  let 
us  allow  our  friendship  and  interest  to  be  disturbed  by  the  contest. 
If  we  dispute  together  the  princes  may  elect  a  third,  and  posterity 
will  then  say  we  were  both  unworthy  of  the  crown.  Methinks  that 
whether  the  election  fall  upon  either  you  or  me,  we  shall  still  both 
be  honoured — I  in  you  and  you  in  me.  If  the  crown  be  awarded 
to  you,  I  will  be  the  first  to  do  homage  to  you;  vow,  therefore,  my 
friend  and  brother  to  do  the  same  by  me."  To  this  the  younger 
prince  agreed,  and  forthwith  made  the  vow  likewise. 

When  the  election  commenced,  and  the  archbishop,  Aribo  of 
Mentz,  was  first  to  give  his  vote,  he  named  Conrad  the  Elder;  the 
archbishops  and  bishops  followed.  Among  the  temporal  princes,  the 
Duke  of  the  Franks  was  the  first  in  rotation,  and  the  younger  Con- 
rad arose,  and  with  a  loud  voice  gave  his  vote  to  his  cousin.  Conrad 
the  Elder,  who  seized  him  by  the  hand,  and  placed  him  beside  him. 
The  remaining  princes  followed  on  the  same  side,  and  the  people 
shouted  their  applause.  Frederic  of  Lorraine  and  the  Archbishop 
of  Cologne  alone  were  discontented,  and  quitted  the  assembly;  but 
when  they  beheld  the  unanimity  of  all  the  others,  and  that  the 
younger  Conrad  had  at  once  acceded  to  the  choice  made,  they  be- 
came reconciled,  and  returning,  rendered  homage  with  the  rest  of 
the  princes. 

The  new  king  was  now  conducted  to  Mentz,  to  be  there  solemnly 
anointed  and  crowned.  On  the  road  to  the  church,  the  procession 
was  stopped  by  the  number  of  petitioners,  who  prayed  for  jus- 
tice. The  bishops  became  impatient,  but  Conrad  listened  tranquilly 
to  their  prayers  and  said:  "To  exercise  justice,  whether  it  be  con- 
venient to  me  or  not,  is  my  first  duty."  These  words  were  heard 
with  joy  by  all  around;  thence  great  hopes  were  formed  of  the  new 
king,  and  Conrad  did  not  disappoint  them.  He  commenced  his  reign 
by  visiting  all  parts  of  Germany;  he  practised  justice,  restored  order, 
and  showed  so  much  strict  judgment,  combined  with  mercy,  that 
all  united  in  one  opinion,  that  no  king  since  Charlemagne  had  so- 
well  merited  to  occupy  his  seat  upon  the  imperial  throne.  Robbers 
he  punished  so  severely,  that  now  there  was  more  general  security  than 
had  been  known  for  a  long  period,  whilst  commerce  flourished  once 
again.  He  secured  for  himself  and  his  race  the  voice  of  the  people, 
by  promoting  the  development  of  the  municipal  institutions  by  every 
possible  means. 

Thus  did  he  govern  his  kingdom  internally.  In  his  foreign 
relations,  he  laboured  equally  for  the  dignity  and  greatness  of  Ger- 
many. Shortly  after  the  commencement  of  his  reign,  he  advanced 
into  Italy,  where  in  Milan  he  was  crowned  king  of  Italy,  and  subse- 
quently in  Rome,  emperor.  The  festival  was  rendered  more  august 
by  the  presence  of  two  kings,  Rudolphus  of  Burgundy,  and  the  great 


Canute,  King  of  England  and  Denmark.  With  the  latter,  Conrad 
formed  a  strict  friendship;  he  united  his  son,  Henry,  with  his 
daughter,  Kunihilda,  and  regulated  also  with  him  the  limits  be- 
tween Germany  and  Denmark,  so  that  the  river  Eider,  between 
Holstein  and  Silesia,  became  the  boundary  of  both  countries.  He 
thus  gave  up,  it  is'true,  the  margraviate  of  Silesia;  but  the  country  was 
difficult  to  defend,  and  Conrad  was  the  gainer  in  other  respects. 
Henry  II.  had  already  concluded  an  hereditary  alliance  with  King 
Rudolphus  of  Burgundy,  so  that  after  his  death  Burgundy  should  fall 
to  Germany.  Conrad  renewred  the  treaty,  and  after  the  death  of 
Rudolphus  he  took  actual  possession  of  that  country,  although  a 
portion  of  the  Burgundians  had  called  forward  Count  Odo,  of 
Champagne,  whom,  however,  Conrad  drove  back,  and  was  forthwith 
recognised  as  king.  This  kingdom  comprised  the  beautiful  districts  of 
the  south-east  of  France,  which  were  afterwards  called  Provence, 
Daupheny,  Tranche  Comte,  and  Lyons,  together  with  Savoy,  and  a 
portion  of  Switzerland,  thus  placing  Germany^  by  means  of  the  im- 
portant sea-ports  of  Marseilles  and  Toulon,  in  connexion  with  the 
Mediterranean:  an  important  acquisition,  which,  however,  after- 
wards, in  the  times  of  weaker  emperors,  became  neglected,  and  fell 
into  the  hands  of  the  French. 

Conrad,  however,  was  forced  to  experience,  that  this  very  acqui- 
sition of  Burgundy  became  a  subject  of  dissension  in  his  own  family, 
and  thence  a  source  of  vexation  to  himself.  His  step-son,  Ernest, 
Duke  of  Swabia  (the  son  of  his  queen,  Gisella,  by  her  former  hus- 
band Herman,  Duke  of  Swabia),  considered  he  possessed  the  first 
right  to  the  crown  of  Burgundy,  because  his  mother  was  the  niece 
of  Rudolphus,  King  of  Burgundy.  Dissatisfied  with  Conrad's 
conduct,  in  getting  this  territory  annexed  to  the  German  em- 
pire, he  deserted  him  in  the  Italian  campaign,  excited  dissen- 
sion against  him  in  Germany,  and  was  in  hopes,  by  the  aid  of 
his  friends,  to  invade  and  conquer  Burgundy.  Conrad,  however, 
hastened  back,  disappointed  him  in  his  efforts,  and  as  Ernest  could 
not  succeed  in  gaining  over  the  Swabian  vassals  to  his  purpose,  he 
was  forced  to  surrender  at  discretion,  and  his  step-father  sent  him  a 
prisoner  to  the  strong  castle  of  Giebichenstein,  in  Thuringia.  After 
an  imprisonment  of  three  years,  he  set  him  at  liberty,  and  offered 
to  restore  him  to  his  duchy,  if  he  would  deliver  up  to  him  his 
friend  and  principal  accomplice,  Count  Werner,  of  Kyburg.  This, 
however,  Ernest  hesitated  and  finally  refused  to  do,  and  he  was  accord- 
ingly deposed  ;  and  at  a  diet  of  the  princes  and  nobles  of  the  em- 
?ire,  he  was  banished  the  country,  together  with  all  his  partisans. 
le  fled  for  refuge  to  his  cousin,  Count  Odo,  of  Champagne,  ac- 
companied by  Count  Werner,  and  a  few  faithful  friends;  but  soon 
afterwards  returned,  whilst  his  father  was  on  an  expedition  against 
the  Hungarians,  concealed  himself  amongst  the  caverns  of  the  Black 
Forest,  and  once  more  endeavoured  to  gain  adherents  in  Swabia. 
But  the  Bishop  of  Constance,  as  administrator  of  the  duchy  for 

188         DEATH  OF  ERNEST — CONRAD's  DEATH. 

Gisella's  second  son,  Herman  (yet  a  minor),  to  whom  Conrad  had 
transferred  it,  sent  Count  Mangold,  of  Vehringen,  against  him,  when 
both  armies  met  (1030),  and  fought  a  severe  battle,  until  both 
Ernest  and  Werner,  together  with  Mangold,  were  killed.  The  ad- 
ventures of  Duke  Ernest  became  the  subject  of  many  heroic  lays 
and  legends ;  and  the  most  wonderful  deeds  performed  by  his  army 
were  connected  with  his  name,  and  eventually,  collected  together 
by  later  poets,  formed  one  entire  work.  Meantime,  the  campaign 
undertaken  by  the  emperor  against  the  Hungarians,  proved  tri- 
umphant, and  he  obliged  Stephen,  their  king,  to  sign  a  favourable 
treaty  of  peace.  He  forced,  also,  to  their  former  obedience  the 
Slavonian  and  Vandalian  tribes,  who  were  still  seated  on  the  Oder, 
and  northwards  on  the  Elbe;  and  Hamburg,  which  they  had  de- 
stroyed, raised  itself  by  degrees  from  its  ruins. 

The  emperor  was  also  a  zealous  promoter  of  the  institution 
whereby  the  church  sought  to  set  some  limits  to  the  rude  force  of 
the  faust-recht — namely,  that  of  the  Peace  of  God.  From  Wednes- 
day evening  at  sunset  until  sunrise  on  Monday  morning,  all  feuds 
were  to  cease,  no  sword  be  raised,  and  universal  security  protect  the 
affairs  of  life.  He  who  should  transgress  against  the  peace  of  God 
(treuga  or  treva  dei),  was  to  be  punished  with  the  heaviest  ban. 
Odilo,  of  Clugny,  is  named  as  the  originator  of  this  institution,  and 
the  clergy  of  Burgundy  and  the  low  countries,  where  the  most  san- 
guinary feuds  prevailed,  with  the  consent  of  Conrad,  first  united 
themselves,  in  the  year  1033,  for  this  purpose. 

Conrad  returned  sickly  from  his  second  expedition  into  Italy, 
wherein  disease  reduced  his  army;  and  his  own  step-son,  Herman 
of  Swabia,  and  Kunihilda,  the  young  consort  of  his  son  Henry,  the 
daughter  of  the  Danish  king,  both  died  there.  He  himself  never 
thoroughly  recovered,  and  died  at  Utrecht,  in  1039.  His  biogra- 
pher, Wippo,  thus  speaks  of  him  : — "  I  should  expose  myself  to  the 
charge  of  flattery,  were  I  to  relate  how  generous,  how  steadfast,  how 
undaunted,  how  severe  towards  the  bad,  how  good  towards  the 
virtuous,  how  firm  against  the  enemy,  and  how  unwearied  and  urgent 
in  affairs  he  was,  when  the  welfare  of  the  empire  demanded  it." 

His  consort,  Gisella,  one  of  the  most  noble  of  German  women, 
and  who  loved  him  most  tenderly,  refused  every  consolation,  and 
mourned  her  husband  in  the  convent  of  Kaufungen,  near  Cassel,  until 
her  death.  The  corpse  of  the  emperor  was  brought  to  Spires,  and 
deposited  in  the  noble  cathedral  which  he  himself  had  founded. 

This  emperor  had  evidently  formed  the  idea,  and  which  maybe  called 
the  fundamental  idea  of  the  whole  Salic  imperial  race — namely,  to 
raise  the  imperial  power  of  Germany  to  the  most  unlimited  extent,  to 
restrict  the  dominion  of  the  princes  within  narrow  bounds,  and,  in 
order  to  complete  this,  he  endeavoured  to  gain,  by  every  favour,  the 
assistance  of  the  inferior  vassals,  who  had  almost  become  slaves  to 
them.  To  this  tended  an  important  law  (constitutio  de  feudis), 
which  Conrad  made  in  the  year  1037,  on  his  second  expedition  to 


Italy,  for  that  country,  and  which  was  soon  afterwards  transferred 
to  Germany,  namely — that  feudal  estates,  which  had  belonged  to 
the  father,  should  not  be  taken  capriciously  from  the  sons,  but 
only  in  criminal  cases,  decided  by  tribunals  composed  of  their 
co-vassals.  Thereby  he  prepared  for  the  lesser  vassals  the  full  right 
of  property ;  so  that  from  them  there  must  necessarily  have  arisen  a 
distinct,  free  order,  for  the  support  of  the  emperor  against  the  greater 
vassals.  These,  on  the  contrary,  and  particularly  the  dukes,  he 
sought  to  bring  back  to  their  old  condition  of  mere  imperial  func- 
tionaries; and  even  gave  the  duchies  of  Swabia,  Bavaria,  and  Fran- 
conia,  to  his  son  Henry,  who  seemed  fully  adapted  to  carry  still 
farther  his  great  and  extensive  plan.  Had  success  attended  it,  Ger- 
many would  have  become  earlier  what  France  became  later,  an  undi- 
vided, powerful  empire.  But  the  Salic  race  was  stayed  in  its  mid- 
career,  partly  by  its  own  fault,  and  partly  by  the  rapid  rising 
of  the  papal  chair,  whose  authority  developed  itself  with  astonishing 
energy,  and  whose  victory  over  his  grandson,  Henry  IV.,  the  power- 
ful Conrad  certainly  had  not  anticipated. 

Conrad's  son,  Henry,  or  the  black,  whom  the  Germans  had 
chosen  during  his  father's  life,  was  twenty-two  years  of  age;  but  the 
hopes  formed  of  him  were  great,  and  they  proved  not  unfounded. 
Like  his  father,  he  was  of  a  high  mind  and  a  determined  will,  obsti- 
nate and  firm,  and  at  the  same  time  eloquent  and  well-informed,  for 
the  prudent  Gisella  had  early  induced  him  to  cultivate  his  mind  as  much 
as  possible  by  reading,  although  at  that  time  books  were  very  scarce. 
No  emperor  since  Charlemagne  maintained  more  vigorously  the  im- 
perial dignity  in  Italy,  Germany,  and  the  neighbouring  lands,  or 
ruled  more  powerfully  within  the  limits  of  his  extensive  empire. 
What  served  to  increase  his  great  fame  was,  that  he  so  humbled  the 
wild  Hungarians,  who  a  hundred  years  before  were  the  terror  of 
Germany,  that  the  Hungarian  nobility,  after  a  lost  battle,  took  the 
oath  of  allegiance  to  him  in  the  city  of  Stuhlweissen,  in  the  year 
1044,  and  that  Peter,  their  king,  re-established  by  Henry,  received 
the  country  as  a  feud  from  him,  by  means  of  a  golden  lance.  It  is 
true  this  was  no  durable  subjection;  still  the  act  of  itself  is  suf- 
ficiently glorious  for  Henry,  whilst  thereby  he  gained  a  portion  of 
Hungary,  from  Kahlenburg  to  Leitha,  which  he  united  with  the 
marches  of  Austria. 

The  king  then,  in  1046,  turned  his  attention  towards  Italy,  to 
settle  the  great  disorders  existing  there.  There  three  popes  held  their 
sway  at  once:  Benedict  IX.,  Sylvester  III.,  and  Gregory  IV. 
Henry,  in  order  to  be  wholly  impartial,  convoked  a  council  at 
Sutri.  Here  they  were  all  three  deposed,  as  irregularly  elected; 
and  then,  in  Rome,  at  the  desire  of  the  collective  clergy  and  no- 
bility, Henry,  who,  following  the  example  of  Charlemagne,  had 
received  the  dignity  of  patrician  for  himself  and  successors,  made 
a  German,  Suidger,  Bishop  of  Bamberg,  pope,  who  took  the 
name  of  Clement  II.;  and  at  the  Christmas  festival,  1046,  he 


crowned  Henry  emperor.  Subsequently,  Henry  gave  the  Romans 
three  successive  popes,  for  they  were  obliged  to  promise  him,  as 
they  had  done  to  Otho,  to  acknowledge  no  pope  without  the  impe' 
rial  sanction. 

After  these,  the  papal  chair  was  filled  by  two  more  German 
popes,  and  these  six  pontifs  from  Germany:  Clement  II.,  Dama- 
sus  II.,  Leo  IX.,  Victor  II.,  Stephan  IX.,  and  Nicholas  II.,  who 
succeeded  each  other  in  very  quick,  but  uninterrupted  rotation, 
laboured  with  one  concurring  mind  for  the  good  of  the  church,  and 
raised  it  again  from  the  ruinous  state  into  which  it  had  been  thrown, 
through  dissension  in  Rome  itself,  the  immoral  conduct  practised  by 
many  of  the  clergy,  and  the  purchase  of  spiritual  offices  for  money. 
Thus  they  paved  the  way  for  the  plans  of  that  spiritual  dominion  of  the 
world,  which  Hildebrand  or  Pope  Gregory  VII. ,  afterwards  suc- 
ceeded in  executing.  In  our  subsequent  history  of  this  celebrated 
pope,  we  shall  allude  further  to  this  question.  Here,  however,  we 
must  at  once  say,  for  the  honour  of  these  German  pontifs,  that  by 
their  efforts,  influenced  by  a  noble  and  firm  mind,  and  true  zeal, 
towards  promoting  the  purity  and  dignity  of  the  church,  they  must 
be  classed  as  the  precursors  in  the  reforms  eventually  introduced. 
Leo  IX.  (formerly  Bruno,  Bishop  of  Toul,  and  a  relation  of  the 
Emperor  Henry  III.),  was  especially  to  be  esteemed  as  a  man  of  the 
most  elevated  moral  virtue  and  true  nobleness  of  mind.  His  hu- 
mility was  so  great,  that  after  he  was  elected  pope,  he  left  his 
bishopric  of  Toul  for  Rome  on  foot,  and  with  the  pilgrim's  staff  in 
hand,  he  journeyed  all  the  distance  thus  lowly,  accompanied  by  Hil- 
debrand, then  chaplain  to  the  deposed  pope,  Gregory  VI.,  in  whom 
Leo  had  already  recognised  a  man  of  extraordinary  genius. 

His  zeal  for  the  purification  of  the  church  urged  him  forthwith 
to  operate  against  the  prevailing  system  of  Simonism,  or  the  pur- 
chasing of  spiritual  offices  with  money,  and  the  immoral  life  led  by 
the  clergy.  He  presided  at  three  councils  which  were  convoked  for 
this  purpose,  in  Rome,  Rheims,  and  Mentz;  and  he  succeeded  in 
bringing  to  bear,  within  a  year,  the  most  important  reforms.  He 
then  travelled  from  the  one  country  of  Christendom  to  the  other, 
wherever  his  presence  was  most  necessary,  in  order  to  promote  and 
establish  personally  the  purification  of  the  church.  He  died  in  the 
year  1054,  too  soon  for  the  great  work  he  had  in  hand;  but  his 
successors  continued  to  complete  what  he  had  commenced  according 
to  his  grand  plan. 

Meantime,  in  Germany,  Henry  ruled  as  a  wise  and  powerful  sove- 
reign. He  abandoned,  certainly,  to  other  princes,  the  duchies  which 
he  himself  formerly  possessed,  but  only  to  such  as  were  rulers  of 
very  limited  power,  and  who  received,  it  is  true,  the  name  but  not  the 
ancient  prerogative  of  duke,  as  viz.:  Bavaria  to  Henry  of  the  house 
of  Luxemburg,  and,  after  him,  to  Conrad,  of  the  Palatinate ;  Carinthia 
to  Guelf,  son  of  Guelf,  the  Swabian  count  ;  Swabia  itself  to  Otho, 
Count  Palatine,  on  the  Rhine.  In  Swabia,  the  Guelfic  house  was 


very  powerful,  and  would  therefore  willingb 
but  it  was  precisely  for  that  reason,  that  Henry  placed  Count  Guelf 
in  Carinthia,  in  order  that  the  duke  might  not  possess  great  hereditary 
lands  in  the  country.  Thus  he  acted  as  he  pleased  with  the  imperial 
dignities,  whilst  he  favoured  the  inheritance  of  the  smaller  fiefs. 
Upper  Lorraine  passed  through  him  to  Count  Albert,  of  Longwy, 
an  ancestor  of  the  present  Austrian  house. 

It  was  about  this  time  that  Henry  gave  a  striking  proof  of  his 
personal  courage,  for  at  an  interview  which  took  place  between  him 
and  King  Henry  of  France,  nearMentz,  in  the  year  1056,  a  dispute 
arose  between  them,  and  the  latter  king  charged  him  with  a  breach 
of  his  word.  As  it  beseemed,  Henry  replied  only  by  casting .  his 
gauntlet  down  before  the  king,  who,  however,  during  the  following 
night,  retired  within  his  frontiers.  Nothing  could  be  more  pleasing 
to  the  Germans  than  this  chivalrous  bearing  of  their  emperor. 

Henry  now  returned  to  Saxony,  where  his  favourite  seat  Goslar 
lay,  in  the  Hartz,  and  which  he  raised  to  a  considerable  city.  We 
must  not  wonder  that  a  king  of  the  Frankish  race  should  fix  his 
geat  in  Saxony,  considering  that  he  did  so  on  account  of  its  rich  mines, 
which  existed  close  to  this  said  Goslar,  in  the  Hartz.  Mines,  in 
those  times,  were  the  exclusive  property  of  the  emperor.  In  Goslar, 
Henry  built  a  fortress,  a  palace,  churches,  and  ramparts  round  the 
town,  and  he  obliged  the  Saxons  of  the  surrounding  country  to 
render  excessive  service.  This  increased  the  ill-will  they  felt  at 
seeing  an  imperial  fortress  thus  suddenly  created  in  their  country; 
and  although  under  so  severe  and  powerful  an  enemy,  they  could 
not  give  utterance  to  their  thoughts,  it  nevertheless  produced  the 
more  bitter  fruits  for  his  son.  Henry  died  suddenly,  in  the  year 
1056,  at  Bothfeld,  near  Blankenburg,  at  the  foot  of  the  Hartz  (whi- 
ther he  had  gone  to  hunt),  in  the  prime  of  life,  being  only  thirty- 
seven  years  old,  and  in  the  midst  of  great  plans  which  he  formed  for 
the  future. 

This  emperor  was  strictly  and  bigotedly  pious,  notwithstanding 
his  strong  mind  and  sternness  of  will.  He  never  placed  his  crown 
upon  his  head  without  having  previously  confessed,  and  received 
from  his  confessor  permission  to  wear  it.  He  likewise  subjected 
himself  to  the  expiatory  penalties  and  punishments  of  the  church, 
and  often  submitted  his  body  to  be  scourged  by  his  priests.  Thus 
the  rude  and  barbarous  manners  of  those  times  held  in  no  contempt 
corporeal  chastisement — as  practised  among  them  to  curb  the  vio- 
lence of  passion — even  when  inflicted  upon  the  body  by  the  suf- 
ferer's own  lash. 

Henry  III.  may,  nevertheless,  be  named  amongst  those  emperors 
who  have  proved  the  cultivation  of  their  own  mind,  by  their  love  for 
the  sciences,  by  their  predilection  in  favour  of  distinguished  men,  and 
by  their  promotion  of  intellectual  perfection  generally.  Ever  since 
he  had  received  the  poem  addressed  to  him  in  Latin  by  Wippo  (the 
biographer  of  his  father),  in  which  he  encouraged  him  to  have  the 


children  of  the  secular  nobles  educated  in  the  sciences,  he  con- 
tinued to  evince  the  greatest  interest  in  the  erection  of  schools. 
Those  of  Liege,  Lobbes,  Gemblours,  Fulda,  Paderborn,  St.  Gallen, 
Reichenau,  &c.,  flourished  especially  under  his  reign;  and  it  was 
in  the  two  last-mentioned  schools  that  Herman  le  Contracte,  one  of 
the  most  learned  men  of  that  time,  received  his  education.  This 
extraordinary  philosopher  was,  from  his  childhood,  such  a  cripple, 
that  he  could  only  be  conveyed  from  one  place  to  another  in  a 
portable  chair.  He  wrote  also  with  the  greatest  difficulty,  and 
stammered  so  painfully  to  hear,  that  his  pupils  required  a  long  time 
before  they  could  understand  him ;  whilst,  however,  he  was  so  ad- 
mired and  sought  after  by  them,  that  they  flocked  to  him  in  multi- 
tudes from  all  parts.  His  chronicles  belong  to  the  most  distin- 
guished historical  sources,  including  the  first  division  of  the  llth 

The  sciences  and  the  arts  under  Henry  III.  progressed  to  an  extent 
by  no  means  unimportant ;  and  if  much  became  neglected  under  the 
long  and  turbulent  reign  of  his  successor,  Henry  IV.,  still  the  foun- 
dation was  then  laid  for  that  glorious  development  which  is  presented 
to  us  in  the  after-times,  under  the  reign  of  the  Hohenstaufens. 

The  princes  had  already  recognised  the  succession  of  Henry's 
son  immediately  on  his  birth.  Unfortunately  for  the  empire, 
upon  the  death  of  his  father  the  young  king  was  only  a  child  six 
years  old. 

His  education  and  the  government  of  the  realm  were  at  first  in 
the  hands  of  his  excellent  mother  Agnes,  who,  however,  was  not  in 
a  condition  to  retain  the  nobles  of  the  empire  in  dependance,  and 
thus  complete  the  father's  work.  She  sought  rather  by  favouring 
some  of  them  to  acquire  support  for  her  government,  and  therefore 
gave  Swabia,  and  at  the  same  time  the  dominion  of  Burgundy,  to 
Count  Rudolphus  of  Rheinfelden,  and  Bavaria  to  Otho  ofNordheim, 
confirming  the  grant  with  a  dangerous  clause,  viz.,  that  these  dig- 
nities should  remain  hereditary  in  their  houses.  Henry,  Bishop  of 
Augsburg  possessed  especially  her  confidence,  but  this  speedily  caused 
envy  and  jealousy.  At  the  head  of  the  discontented  stood  the  Arch- 
bishop Hanno  of  Cologne,  an  ambitious  and  prudent,  but  austere 
and  severe  man.  In  order  to  gain  possession  of  the  young  king,  and 
thereby  of  the  government,  he  went  at  Easter  in  1062  to  Kaiserwerth 
on  the  Rhine,  where  at  that  moment  the  court  of  the  empress  was  as- 
sembled, and  after  the  dinner  he  persuaded  the  boy  to  go  and  view  a 
particularly  beautiful  vessel,  recently  built.  He  had  scarcely,  how- 
ever, got  onboard,  when  the  sailors,  at  a  signal  given  by  the  archbishop, 
loosened  her  moorings,  and  rowed  to  the  middle  of  the  Rhine,  which  so 
much  terrified  the  youth,  that  he  suddenly  jumped  into  the  river,  and 
would  certainly  have  been  drowned  had  not  Count  Eckbert  of  Bruns- 
wick sprang  after  him  and  saved  him  at  the  hazard  of  his  life.  He  was 
cheered  up,  and  many  fair  promises  being  held  out  to  him,  he  was  thus 
decoyed  away  and  taken  to  Cologne.  His  mother  was  much  alarmed  and 


grieved,  and  when  she  perceived  that  the  German  princes  had  no 
longer  confidence  in  her,  she  determined  to  conclude  her  life  in  quiet 
retirement,  and  went  to  Rome. 

The  Archbishop  Hanno,  in  order  that  it  might  not  appear  as  if  he 
wanted  to  retain  the  highest  power  in  his  own  hands,  made  an  order 
that  the  young  king  should  dwell  by  turns  in  the  different  countries 
of  Germany,  and  that  the  bishop,  in  whose  diocese  he  dwelt,  should 
for  the  time  being,  have  the  protectorship  and  the  chief  government 
of  the  kingdom.  His  chief  object,  however,  was  to  get  the  mind  of 
the  prince  under  his  own  control,  but  in  this  he  could  not  succeed. 
His  character  and  manner  were  not  such  as  to  gain  the  heart  of  the 
youth,  for  he  was  severe,  haughty,  and  authoritative,  and  as  it  is  re- 
lated of  him,  that  he  even  applied  the  scourge  with  severity  to  his 
father,  the  powerful  Henry  the  Black,  it  may  likewise  be  presumed 
that  he  often  treated  the  youth  very  roughly.  Among  the  remaining 
bishops  there  was  one  who  was  a  very  different  man,  as  ambitious  as 
Hanno,  but  subtle  and  flattering,  and  who  gained  the  youth  by  grant- 
ing all  his  wishes :  this  was  the  Archbishop  Adalbert  of  Bremen.  This 
ambitious  man  wished  to  unite  the  whole  of  the  north  of  Germany  into 
one  great  ecclesiastical  dominion,  and  to  place  himself  at  its  head  as  a 
second  pope.  In  fact  he  was  already  invested  almost  with  the  authority 
and  dignity  of  a  patriarch  of  the  north ;  for  by  his  zealous  efforts  to  pro- 
pagate Christianity  there,  many  bishoprics  had  been  founded  in  the 
Slavonic  countries,  such  as  Ratzeburg  and  Mecklenburg,  as  well  as 
several  churches  in  Denmark,  Norway,  and  Sweden.  He  hated  the 
temporal  princes,  because  they  stood  in  the  way  of  these  objects  and 
in  order  to  suppress  them  he  wished  to  raise  the  imperial  power  to 
unlimited  despotism.  Hanno  of  Cologne  and  his  confederates  stood 
in  the  most  decided  opposition  to  him  in  this  view,  for  they  endea- 
voured to  raise  the  dignity  of  the  princes  upon  the  ruins  of  the  empire ; 
and  thus  both  parties,  without  any  reserve,  went  passionately  to  ex- 
tremes. Whilst  Hanno  was  on  a  journey  to  Rome,  where  he  re- 
mained some  time,  Adalbert  obtained  entire  possession  of  the  young 
prince.  Nothing  worse  could  have  happened  to  the  youth  than  to 
be  subject  to  the  influence  of  two  such  different  men,  and  to  this 
change  of  treatment  so  entirely  opposite ;  for  after  having  been  treated 
with  the  greatest  severity,  he  was  now  allowed  to  sink  by  too  great 
lenity  and  indulgence  into  dissipation  and  sensuality. 

Henry  was  distinguished  for  great  mental  as  well  as  physical 
qualities;  he  was  endowed  with  daring  and  ardent  courage,  quickness 
of  resolve,  and  a  chivalric  mind  which  might  have  been  directed  to 
the  most  noble  objects.  But  now  his  active  and  fiery  nature  became 
transformed  into  a  revengeful  and  furious  disposition,  and  his  elevated 
mind  degenerated  into  selfish  pride  and  domination.  Besides  which, 
he  loved  sensual  pleasures,  and  thence  became  often  idle  and  care- 
less. A  good  thought  and  a  praiseworthy,  honourable  action  in  him 
changed  speedily  to  an  opposite  character,  because  throughout  his 
whole  life  he  was  wanting  in  a  fixed  leading  principle  whereon  to 



base  his  actions.  That  steady  calm  repose  and  moderation,  ever 
immutable,  and  which  constitute  the  highest  majesty  of  kings,  were 
by  him  unattainable  and  never  possessed;  and  thus  are  reflected  in 
his  whole  existence  the  dissimilar  and  even  contradictory  sentiments 
and  principles  of  those  by  whom  he  was  educated. 

It  was  strongly  evinced  and  verified  as  a  great  truth  in  Henry  IV., 
that  according  to  our  disposition  and  inward  being,  so  is  our  fate. 
If  the  ibrmer  be  fixed  and  firm,  our  life  as  surely  takes  a  fixed  direc- 
tion. But  Henry's  life  was  as  unequal  as  his  mind :  the  variation  of 
good  fortune  with  misfortune,  elevation  with  abasement,  and  haugh- 
tiness with  humiliation — such  were  the  transitions  of  his  life,  even 
unto  the  moment  of  his  death. 

Adalbert  had  transplanted  from  his  own  soul  to  that  of  his  pupil 
two  feelings  of  the  deepest  aversion — the  first  was  directed  against 
all  the  princes  generally,  and  the  second  against  those  of  Saxony, 
and  especially  the  ducal  house  of  Billung,  and  the  whole  Saxon 
people,  with  whom  he  had  previously  had  many  disputes  relative  to 
his  Archbishopric  of  Bremen.  He  therefore  impressed  upon  the 
mind  of  the  young  king,  that  as  the  princes,  but  chiefly  those  of 
Saxony,  were  striving  for  independence,  he  should  reduce  them  by 
times  to  obedience  and  crush  them.  These  principles  embittered  and 
destroyed  the  tranquillity  of  the  king's  whole  life,  for  although  the 
ambitious  archbishop,  after  he  had  declared  the  king  to  be  of  age  at 
Worms  in  1065,  was,  by  means  of  the  princes,  removed  from  Henry  in 
the  following  year,  his  ward  never  forgot  his  instructions,  and  when, 
in  106  9,  Adalbert  again  visited  the  court  of  the  young  monarch,  he  used 
all  his  former  influence  to  strengthen  and  confirm  him  in  this  hatred. 

The  Saxons  speedily  perceived  the  king's  purpose  of  making  their 
country  immediately  dependent  on  the  crown;  for  he  dwelt  chiefly 
at  Goslar,  and  commenced  building  in  the  mountains  of  the  Hartz 
and  in  Thuringia  a  multitude  of  fortresses,  and  manned  them  with 
garrisons,  to  enable  them  to  curb  the  natives  more  easily.  The  same 
Benno  (afterwards  Bishop  of  Osnaburg)  who,  under  Henry  III.,  upon 
the  building  of  Goslar  itself  had  already  forced  the  Saxons  into  service, 
now  superintended  these  buildings.  The  chief  of  these  fortresses  was 
that  of  Hartzburg,  near  Goslar,  Henry's  favourite  place,  but  an  eye-sore 
to  the  Saxons.  Murmurs  passed  around,  and  the  people  complained 
that  the  freedom  they  enjoyed  from  their  ancestors  was  about  to  be 
destroyed.  It  was  also  related,  that  whilst  one  day  surveying  the 
country  around  from  a  mountain  in  Saxony,  the  king  exclaimed : 
"  Saxony  is  indeed  a  beautiful  country,  but  those  who  inhabit  it  are 
miserable  serfs." 

There  were  two  other  causes  which  increased  the  discontent.  Henry, 
as  a  child,  had  already  been  betrothed  by  his  father  to  Bertha,  the 
daughter  of  the  Margrave  of  Susa,  in  Italy,  and  he  had  afterwards 
married  her.  Now,  however,  he  wished  to  be  divorced  from  her,  and 
as  for  this  purpose  he  required  the  assistance  of  the  spiritual  princes, 
lie  accordingly  sought  to  conciliate  before  all  others  the  friendship 


of  Sigfried,  Archbishop  of  Mentz.  But  as  his  passions  always  drove  him 
blindly  on  to  the  object  he  was  so  anxious  to  grasp,  so  likewise  the 
means  he  now  employed  to  attain  it  were  equally  bad.  He  commanded 
and  forced  the  Thuringians  to  pay  to  the  archbishop  the  tithe  of  their 
goods  which  he  had  formerly  claimed,and  they  had  refused.  Thus  he  had 
now  made  the  Thuringians  doubly  his  enemies.  Meantime,  however, 
owing  to  the  opposition  shown  on  the  part  of  the  pope,  he  was  not 
divorced  from  the  queen ;  and  subdued,  shortly  afterwards,  by  her  noble 
and  dignified  conduct,  his  heart  once  more  turned  towards  her,  and 
she  faithfully  continued  to  share  with  him  his  good  and  bad  fortune. 
Besides  this,  Henry  treated  the  Saxon  Count,  Otho  of  Nordheim, 
to  whom  his  mother  had  given  the  Duchy  of  Bavaria,  so  badly,  that 
all  the  nobles,  but  chiefly  those  of  Saxony,  were  highly  exasperated. 
This  Duke  Otho  was  a  friend  of  the  Archbishop  of  Cologne,  and 
might  probably  thereby  have  become  obnoxious  to  the  king,  or  the  latter 
perhaps  turned  the  hatred  he  had  imbibed  from  Adalbert  against  all 
the  nobles,  more  particularly  against  Otho,  upon  whose  arm  the  Saxon 
people  chiefly  depended.  And  when  at  this  moment  an  accuser 
appeared,  named  Egino  (probably  employed  for  that  purpose),  and 
charged  the  duke  with  having  tried  to  persuade  him  to  assassinate 
the  king,  and  Otho  refused  to  do  battle  with  him  because  he  was  not 
of  the  same  rank,  and  bore  besides  a  bad  character,  Henry,  by  an 
unjust  sentence,  deposed  him  forthwith  from  his  duchy  of  Bavaria, 
and  destroyed  with  fire  and  sword  all  his  hereditary  lands  in  Saxony. 
He  gave  his  duchy  of  Bavaria  (in  1070)  to  Gueli  the  Young  (IV.) 
the  son  of  the  Italian  Margrave  Azzo,  and  the  founder  of  the  junior 
Guelfic  house,  the  elder  house  having  become  extinct  by  the  death 
of  Duke  Guelf  of  Carinthia  in  1055. 

But  in  Otho  of  Nordheim  he  had  now  aroused  for  his  whole  life 
time  a  most  valiant  and  inveterate  enemy.  He  joined  Count  Magnus 
of  Saxony,  son  of  Duke  Ordulf,  a  noble  youth,  bold  and  valiant  in 
arms,  and  united  himself  with  him ;  but  pressed  by  the  royal  forces, 
they  were  obliged  to  yield  themselves  both  prisoners  to  Henry  before 
they  had  hardly  prepared  themselves  for  battle.  After  the  lapse  of 
a  year  Henry  set  Otho  at  liberty,  but  he  retained  Magnus  in  prison 
in  the  Hartzburg,  because  he  refused  at  his  command  to  renounce  his 
rights  to  his  father's  duchy,  and  although  Otho  nobly  offered  to 
take  his  friend's  place  in  prison,  he  refused  to  listen  to  him.  Thence 
arose  the  natural  conclusion,  that  it  was  the  king's  intention  to  take 
possession  of  the  duchy  of  Saxony  himself,  and  leave  the  young  prince 
to  die  in  captivity. 

These  circumstances  were  the  origin  of  that  deep  and  violent 
enmity  between  Henry  and  the  Saxons,  and  which  prepared  the 
most  bitter  and  melancholy  reverses  for  the  king,  and  incited  both 
parties  to  acts  of  the  most  implacable  hatred  and  revenge. 

The  Saxons,  with  Otho  of  Norheim  at  their  head,  concluded  with 
each  other  a  close  alliance.  All  the  Saxon  and  Thuringian  nobles, 
temporal  and  spiritual,  belonged  to  it,  and  among  others,  Burkhard, 

O  2 


Bishop  of  Halberstadt,  who  was  a  nephew  of  the  Archbishop  of  Co- 
logne, and  had  imbibed  from  the  latter  his  hatred  against  the  imperial 
misrule  and  ascendancy.  This  was  still  the  time  when  the  clergy  them- 
selves went  into  battle  and  frequently  fought  at  the  head  of  their  war- 
like hosts. 

Quite  unexpectedly,  and  whilst  Henry  was  at  Goslar,  in  the  year 
1073,  a  deputation  from  the  Saxons  came  to  him  and  demanded  of 
him  as  follows:  "  That  he  should  destroy  his  fortresses  in  their 
country;  set  Magnus,  the  heir  of  their  Saxon  duchy  free  from  his 
imprisonment;  not  always  remain  in  Saxony;  honour  the  ancient 
constitution  of  the  country ;  and  in  imperial  affairs  not  give  ear  to 
bad  advisers,  but  take  counsel  of  the  states.  If  he  would  perform 
these  conditions,"  they  added,  "  no  nation  in  Germany  would  be 
found  more  faithful  and  devoted  to  him  than  that  of  the  Saxons." 
Henry,  however,  dismissed  the  deputation  with  contempt.  The 
Saxons  accordingly,  now  brought  into  speedy  effect  and  immediate 
execution  the  threatened  consequences,  and  advanced  towards  Goslar 
with  60,000  men.  Henry  fled  with  his  treasures  to  the  strong  fortress 
of  Hartzburg,  and  as  the  enemy  speedily  followed  him,  he  took  to  flight 
and  sought  refuge  amidst  great  danger  in  the  Hartz  mountains.  He 
was  obliged,  for  three  days,  to  wander  without  food  or  drink,  and 
with  but  few  companions,  under  the  guidance  of  a  yager,  imagining 
in  every  whisper  of  the  wind  passing  along  the  tops  of  the  firs,  to 
hear  the  steps  of  his  pursuers.  At  last  he  reached  Eschwege,  on  the 
river  Werra.  From  thence  he  went  to  the  Rhine,  towards  Tribur, 
and  sent  messengers  throughout  the  whole  empire,  summoning  all  to 
arms  against  the  Saxons.  But  the  Saxons  wisely  profited  by  the  inter- 
val, destroyed  fortress  after  fortress,  and  took  possession  of  the  strong 
castle  of  Luneburg  with  its  whole  garrison ;  and  which  lucky  circum- 
stance they  took  advantage  of  to  free  their  duke,  Magnus,  for  they  now 
demanded  his  freedom  of  the  emperor  under  the  threat,  that,  if  not 
granted,  they  would  hang  up  the  whole  garrison  of  Luneburg  as  rob- 
bers. Henry  was  obliged  therefore,  however  unwillingly,  to  yield  and 
set  Magnus  at  liberty ,  together  with  seventy  other  nobles  and  knights. 
The  monarch's  humiliation,  however,  did  not  end  here,  for  he  was 
now  likewise  deserted  by  the  princes  of  Southern  Germany,  and 
even  the  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  on  whose  account  he  had  made  so 
many  enemies,  left  him.  A  circumstance  also  occurred  at  this  mo- 
ment which  formed  a  parallel  case  with  that  of  Egino  and  Otho  of 
Nordheim,  only  that  here  the  king  was  made  out  to  be  the  assassin. 
Reginger,  a  knight  and  former  favourite  of  Henry,  came  now  for- 
ward and  made  public  that  "  the  king  had  employed  him  to  murder 
the  Dukes  Rudolphus  of  Swabia  and  Berthold  of  Carinthia."  This 
statement  might  possibly  have  been  a  mere  manoeuvre  of  the  enemy,  in 
order  to  prejudice  public  opinion  against  Henry ,  similar  to  that  which 
he  had  himself  previously  employed  against  Otho  of  Nordheim. 
But  it  was  equally  successful,  for  it  was  even  proposed  to  elect  a 
new  king,  and  the  ungrateful  Archbishop  Sigfried  convoked  the 
princes  for  that  purpose  to  hold  a  diet  at  Mentz. 


In  this  emergency,  when  all  his  friends  had  deserted  him,  the  citi- 
zens of  Worms  alone  remained  faithful  to  the  king.  They  opened  their 
gates  to  him  against  the  will  of  their  archbishop,  offered  him  men 
and  arms,  and  by  their  generous  attachment  and  fidelity  again  re- 
stored his  despondent  mind,  and  as  far  as  their  means  admitted  they 
wholly  supported  him,  no  one  else  attempting  to  assist  him.  At  this 
period,  certain  cities  in  Germany  already  began  to  have  a  voice  in 
the  imperial  diets,  and  they  became  the  chief  support  of  imperial 
authority  against  the  princes;  thence  we  see  how  much,  by  industry 
and  activity,  they  must  have  increased  since  the  time  of  Henry  L, 
both  in  the  number  and  in  the  wealth  of  their  inhabitants.  But 
the  faithful  people  of  Worms  could  not  defend  him  against  the 
entire  power  of  all  the  accumulated  evils  which  now  hung  over  his 
head.  He  was  obliged,  in  order  not  to  lose  his  crown,  to  make  hard 
terms  of  peace  with  the  Saxons  in  1074,  and  to  deliver  up  to  them 
all  his  fortresses,  even  his  beloved  Hartzburg.  After  contemplating 
it  with  sorrow  and  regret  for  the  last  time,  as,  in  the  midst  of  the 
Saxons  he  rode  to  Goslar,  he  once  more,  and  even  most  earnestly 
entreated  them  to  grant  its  preservation,  but  the  proud  fortress  was 
doomed  to  fall,  and  in  its  destruction  hatred  raged  so  furiously,  that 
the  embittered  populace,  without  even  the  knowledge  or  consent  of 
the  princes,  plundered  and  burnt  both  its  church  and  altar,  tore  open 
the  imperial  tombs,  and  desecrated  the  remains  of  Henry's  brother 
and  infant  son. 

But  the  Saxons  very  soon  experienced  that  the  most  dangerous 
enemy  to  good  fortune  is  the  arrogance  of  our  own  heart ;  and  one  of 
those  singular  changes  of  fortune  which  distinguished  Henry's  en- 
tire reign  now  suddenly  displayed  itself.  He  had  well  learnt  by  this 
time,  that  men  must  be  differently  treated  to  the  fashion  Adalbert  had 
taught  him,  and  that  in  order  to  conquer  a  people,  something  more 
is  necessary  than  building  isolated  fortresses  in  their  country.  Ac- 
cordingly he  now  began  to  address  the  German  princes  in  a  very 
opposite  manner  to  what  he  had  hitherto  done ;  he  sought  to  gain 
them  individually,  especially  as  their  assemblies  were  in  general  pre- 
judicially opposed  to  him,  and  for  this  purpose  he  employed  a  differ- 
ent but  more  suitably- adapted  means  with  each  of  them  separately. 
To  all  of  them  he  complained  bitterly  of  the  shameful  and  revolting 
destruction  of  Hartzburg,  and  as  soon  as  the  public  voice  became  more 
favourable  towards  him,  he  issued  a  general  summons  against  the 
Saxons.  This  time  obedience  immediately  followed,  and  a  strong 
army  was  speedily  collected  both  of  knights  and  vassals,  from  all 
parts  of  the  kingdom,  even  from  Bohemia  and  Lorraine,  an  army 
such  as  had  not  been  seen  for  a  long  time,  whilst  the  Saxons 
who  had  only  hastily  assembled  a  few  troops,  and  by  the  artifices 
of  the  king  had  become  disunited  among  themselves,  were  severely 
beaten,  in  1075,  near  Hohenburg,  not  far  from  Langensalza,  on  the 
river  Unstrut.  Henry  pursued  the  fugitives  as  far  as  Magdeburg  and 
Halberstadt,  and  desolated  their  country  with  fire  and  sword.  His 


vengeance  was  terrific,  like  all  his  ungovernable  passions.  But  in  the 
following  year,  the  other  princes,  who  would  not  suffer  the  poor  people 
to  be  entirely  destroyed,  stepped  between  as  mediators.  Henry  granted 
the  Saxons  a  peace  after  their  nobles  had  humbly  knelt  to  him  before 
all  the  army ;  but  instead  of  effecting  a  complete  reconciliation  by  a 
full  pardon,  he,  contrary  to  the  promise  he  gave  through  his  am- 
bassadors, retained  many  of  the  Saxon  nobles  as  prisoners,  and  made 
over  their  fiefs  to  his  vassals.  The  most  dangerous  of  all  their 
princes,  however,  Otho  of  Nordheim,  he  allowed  to  return  to  his 
estates,  and  even  appointed  him  administrator  over  Saxony.  He 
caused  all  the  destroyed  fortresses,  including  Hartzburg,  to  be  rebuilt, 
erected  additional  ones,  and  had  them  garrisoned  by  his  own  troops, 
who,  as  before,  oppressed  the  land  by  arrogance  and  extortion;  thus 
the  seeds  of  future  revolt  were  again  planted  in  this  quarter,  whilst 
from  an  opposite  direction  an  enemy  presented  himself,  far  more 
powerful,  and  who  fought  against  him  with  very  different  weapons 
to  those  of  the  Saxons. 

Hildebrand  (afterwards  Gregory  VII.)  was  the  son  of  a  carpenter 
at  Saone,  an  Italian  city.  He  entered  the  clerical  state,  and  as  he 
possessed  extraordinary  mental  powers  he  was  taken  by  Pope  Leo 
IV.,  in  the  reign  of  Henry  III.,  from  the  monastery  of  Clugny  to 
Rome,  and  there  made  sub-deacon,  of  the  Roman  church,  and  after- 
wards chancellor ;  henceforward  he  alone  directed  the  government  of 
the  popes,  and  became  the  soul  of  the  pontifical  court.  His  object  was 
to  raise  the  pope  above  all  the  princes  and  kings  of  the  earth,  and 
this  aim  he  pursued  during  his  whole  life  with  so  much  prudence, 
constancy,  power,  and  greatness  of  mind,  that  he  must  be  placed 
among  the  most  extraordinary  men  in  the  history  of  his  times.  When 
he  first  appeared  great  misuses  had  crept  in  among  the  higher  and  lower 
clergy;  the  majority  purchased  their  holy  offices  with  gold,  whereby 
unworthy  men  could  attain  to  high  and  important  places.  Immo- 
rality, dissipation,  and  vices  of  every  kind  were  not  rare  among 
them,  and  as  they  were  the  slaves  of  their  own  sins,  so  also  by  their 
love  for  temporal  possessions  they  attached  themselves  to  temporal 
princes,  who  rewarded  them  with  their  possessions.  Hildebrand 
therefore  resolved,  inspired  as  he  was  for  the  freedom  of  the  church 
and  the  morality  of  the  clerical  order,  to  lay  the  axe  to  the  root  of 
these  evils. 

His  first  endeavours  were  very  justly  directed  against  the  purchase 
of  spiritual  offices  with  gold,  which  was  called  the  crime  of  simony  (in 
reference  to  the  history  of  Simon  the  magician,  related  in  the  Acts 
of  the  Apostles,  viii.,  18-24)  and  was  considered  a  sin  against  the  Holy 
Ghost.  It  is  shown  with  what  moral  power  and  superiority  of  mind 
he  knew  how  to  influence  men,  in  the  example  of  an  archbishop  of 
France,  who  was  charged  with  this  crime,  but  had  cunningly  gained 
over  the  informers  by  gold.  Hildebrand,  so  says  the  original  docu- 
ment, sat  as  representative  of  the  pope  in  judgment  upon  the  affair. 
The  archbishop  then  stepped  boldly  into  the  assembly  and  said, 


"  Where  are  they  who  charge  me?  Let  him  step  forth  who  will  con- 
demn me !"  The  bribed  complainants  were  silent.  Hildebrand  then 
turned  himself  to  him  and  said:  "  Dost  thou  believe  that  the  Holy 
Ghost  with  Father  and  Son  are  one  Being?"  To  which  the  other 
replied:  "  I  believe  it."  He  now  commanded  him  to  repeat:  "  Ho- 
nour the  Father,  the  Son,  and  the  Holy  Ghost,"  and  whilst  the  arch- 
bishop was  pronouncing  the  words,  he  looked  at  him  with  such  a 
piercing,  penetrating  glance,  that  the  conscience  of  the  convicted 
clergyman  was  so  struck  with  his  guilt,  that  he  was  unable  to  add 
"  The  Holy  Ghost,"  although  he  several  times  tried  it.  This  was 
considered  a  divine  judgment.  The  archbishop  fell  at  his  judge's 
feet,  acknowledged  his  crime,  and  confessed  himself  unworthy  to 
hold  the  priestly  office ;  after  which  confession  he  was  enabled  to 
repeat  those  words  with  a  distinct  voice.  This  circumstance  worked 
so  powerfully  upon  the  minds  of  the  people,  that  twenty-seven  other 
churchmen  and  several  bishops,  as  yet  unaccused,  laid  down  their 
offices,  because  they  had  acquired  them  with  gold. 

In  order,  therefore,  that  the  clergy  should  now  be  made  entirely 
free  from  the  temporal  power,  it  became  essential  that  the  head  of 
the  church  should  no  longer  be  named  by  the  emperor,  but  be  ap- 
pointed by  a  free  election.  This  had  been  differently  settled  at  the 
time  that  Henry  III.  caused  the  promise  to  be  made  to  him,  that  the 
Romans  should  acknowledge  no  pope  without  the  imperial  sanction, 
and  under  this  emperor  Hildebrand  probably  would  not  have  carried 
his  object.  But  he  now  took  advantage  of  the  moment  while  the 
new  emperor  was  still  a  child,  and  succeeded  in  the  year  1059,  under 
Pope  Nicholas  II.,  in  having  a  law  made,  that  every  pope  should  be 
chosen  by  the  cardinals,  but  with  the  clause  that  the  sanction  or 
confirmation  of  the  emperor  should  be  added,  as  it  was  only  in  sub- 
sequent times  that  endeavours  were  made  even  to  abolish  this  decree, 
and  to  put  a  false  construction  upon  the  law  of  Pope  Nicholas. 

When  Hildebrand  as  chancellor  had,  by  this  and  other  regula- 
tions, prepared  every  thing  for  his  great  object,  he  was  himself 
elected  pope  in  the  year  1073,  and  called  himself  Gregory  VII.,  in. 
order  thus  to  declare  the  deposition  of  Gregory  VI.  by  Henry  III. 
as  invalid.  The  Emperor  Henry  IV.,  who  now  ruled  the  empire 
himself,  sent  his  faithful  adherent,  Count  Eberhard,  to  Rome,  to  de- 
mand of  the  Romans  why  they  had  dared  without  the  imperial 
permission  to  elect  a  pope.  Gregory,  who  did  not  wish  at  this  mo- 
ment to  commence  the  dispute  with  the  emperor,  excused  himself  by 
the  plea  that  the  people  had  forced  him  to  receive  the  papal  dignity, 
but  that  he  had  not  allowed  himself  to  be  ordained  before  he  had 
received  the  sanction  of  the  emperor  and  of  the  German  princes. 
With  this  excuse  Henry  was  contented,  and  the  pope  was  confirmed. 
Henry  thus  showed,  that  in  the  blindness  of  his  fury  against  the 
Saxons,  he  had  not  at  all  perceived  that  all  this  time  the  degradation 
of  all  temporal  dominion,  and  the  elevation  of  a  spiritual  empire,  was 
now  being  gradually  prepared  in  Rome. 


Gregory  now  stepped  forth  with  new  and  very  severe  laws  against 
simony,  and  against  the  marriage  of  priests.  He  desired,  like  the 
earlier  popes  and  fathers,  that  the  priests  of  the  church  should  conse- 
crate themselves  wholly  to  the  divine  service,  restrain  themselves  from 
all  sensuality,  and  not  even  chain  themselves  to  the  love  of  the  earth's 
possessions  by  the  marriage  tie.  It  is  true  that  in  Italy,  as  well  as 
in  France  and  Germany,  this  prohibition  found  at  first  great  oppo- 
sition among  the  clergy,  for  many  of  them,  particularly  among  the 
lower  clergy,  were  already  married,  but  Gregory  found  in  the  people 
themselves  the  support  necessary  for  the  execution  of  his  law.  The 
populace,  excited  against  the  married  priests,  forced  them,  partly 
through  the  severest  misusage,  to  separate  themselves  from  their 
wives,  but  it  lasted  a  full  century  before  the  celibacy  of  the  clergy 
was  fully  established.  The  attainment  of  this  object  was  of  the  greatest 
importance  to  Gregory  for  the  completion  of  his  extensive  plans; 
for  if  the  clergy  throughout  all  Christian  countries  were  no  longer 
bound  by  their  domestic  cares  and  anxiety  for  their  children,  and 
were  made  independent  of  the  temporal  lords,  the  pope  would  thereby 
gain  so  many  thousand  more  zealous  servants,  who  would  listen  only 
to  his  command,  and  contribute  to  fix  firmly  the  dominion  of  the 
church  over  all  temporal  power.  But  in  order  to  possess  such  ser- 
vants they  must  be  rendered  still'more  independent,  and  not  receive, 
even  in  any  shape,  their  temporal  possessions  from  the  hands  of 
princes  as  a  fief;  for  the  same  as  the  lay  vassals  received  a  banner  as 
a  mark  of  their  services,  so  also  the  grand  ecclesiastical  dignitaries 
received  from  the  princes  as  a  similar  sign,  a  ring  and  a  shepherd's 
crook,  which  thus  formed  the  investiture.  Gregory,  therefore,  pro- 
hibited the  clergy  from  receiving  this  said  symbol  of  investiture  from 
the  hands  of  the  nobles;  and  he  insisted  that  for  their  elevation 
they  were  to  be  beholden  to  the  papal  chair  alone,  and  only  to  the 
pope  were  they  to  swear  the  oath  of  obedience.  According  to  this 
principle,  the  pontiff  necessarily  became  sovereign  lord  of  one- third 
of  all  the  property  in  the  Catholic  countries. 

Such  then  is  the  commencement  of  the  long  and  violent  dispute  of 
investiture,  and  especially  of  the  contest  between  the  emperor  and 
the  pope,  the  state  and  the  church,  and  which  by  degrees  weakened 
and  destroyed  both.  We  have  already  noticed  previously  that  the 
peaceful  co-operation  of  both  the  papal  and  imperial  dignity  might 
nave  formed  a  solid  basis  for  the  happiness  of  the  people ;  but  now 
the  epoch  commenced  when  both  these  powers  strove  singly  to  rise 
more  elevated  than  the  other.  For  if,  on  the  one  hand,  the  pope 
wished  to  reign  not  only  in  spiritual  but  also  in  temporal  affairs  over 
all  princes  and  kings,  and  was  anxious  to  take  away  as  well  as  to 
provide  crowns,  so,  on  the  other  hand,  the  emperor  would  not  admit 
in  just  and  reasonable  cases  the  authority  of  the  pope,  but  insisted 
he  could  rule  with  the  edge  of  the  sword  even  over  invisible  and 
spiritual  affairs  and  the  conscience  of  man.  Thus  the  two  powers 
which  in  concord  together  might  have  made  the  world  happy,  de- 


stroyed  each  other,  and  after  a  contest  of  a  century  and  a  half,  and 
after  unutterable  confusion  and  dissension  in  Germany  and  Italy, 
the  imperial  dignity  lost  its  ancient  splendour  and  its  intrinsic  power, 
whilst  the  head  of  the  church  became  externally  dependent  upon  a 
foreign  power.  In  this  schism  great  men  stood  opposed  to  each 
other,  who  might  have  exercised  their  energy  and  powers  much  more 
beneficially  for  society ;  but  this  very  contest  necessarily  entered  into 
the  great  plan  of  the  history  of  the  world,  and  it  prepared  those  de- 
velopments which  otherwise  would  not  have  followed. 

Pope  Gregory  continued  to  advance  still  further  in  his  principles. 
Not  satisfied  with  having  separated  the  church  with  all  its  endow- 
ments wholly  from  temporal  dominion,  he  also  now  solemnly  declared 
that  emperors,  kings,  and  princes,  together  with  all  their  power, 
were  subject  to  the  pope.  These  principles  are  especially  expressed 
in  his  own  letters :  "  The  world,"  he  says  in  one  of  them,  **  is  guided  by 
two  lights :  by  the  sun,  the  larger,  and  the  moon,  the  lesser  light.  Thus 
the  apostolic  power  represents  the  sun,  and  the  royal  power  the  moon; 
for  as  the  latter  has  its  light  from  the  former,  so  only  do  emperors, 
kings,  and  princes,  receive  their  authority  through  the  pope,  be- 
cause he  receives  his  authority  through  God.  Therefore,  the  power 
of  the  Roman  chair  is  greater  than  the  power  of  the  throne,  and  the 
king  is  accordingly  subject  to  the  pope,  and  bound  in  obedience  to 
him.  If  the  apostles  in  heaven  can  bind  and  loosen,  so  may  they 
also  upon  earth  give  and  take,  according  to  merit,  empires,  kingdoms, 
principalities,  duchies,  and  every  other  kind  of  possession.  And  if 
they  be  appointed  as  sovereign  judges  over  spiritual,  they  must  like- 
wise be  so,  and  far  more  in  proportion  over  temporal  affairs,  and  if, 
finally,  they  have  the  right  to  command  angels  who  are  most  assur- 
edly placed  above  the  most  powerful  monarchs,  how  much  more  may 
they  not  give  judgment  over  the  poor  slaves  of  those  angels.  Be- 
sides, the  pope  is  the  successor  of  the  apostles,  and  their  represen- 
tative upon  the  chair  of  St.  Peter ;  he  is  the  vicar  of  Christ,  and 
consequently  placed  over  all." 

These  principles  Gregory  resolved  to  exercise  generally,  and  first  of 
all  upon  the  emperor  himself,  as  the  head  of  the  kings  and  princes,  in 
order  thereby  to  prove  his  power  before  the  whole  world.  At  the  same 
time,  Henry,  living  as  he  did  in  continual  dissension  with  his  sub- 
jects, had  less  real  power  than  any  other  king,  whilst  his  name 
being  greater,  the  victory  over  him  must  consequently  become 
more  glorious,  and  from  the  passionate  character  of  this  prince  in 
all  his  proceedings,  the  pope  soon  found  it  easy  to  furnish  a  pretext. 
Complaints  against  the  emperor  came  to  Rome  from  every  quarter, 
whilst  the  Saxons,  likewise,  bitterly  complained  because  he  still  kept 
many  of  their  princes  prisoners.  Gregory  accordingly  caused  it  to 
be  signified  to  the  emperor,  "  That  at  the  ensuing  fast  he  must  ap- 
pear before  the  synod  at  Rome,  to  answer  for  the  crimes  laid  to  his 
charge;  otherwise,  it  was  now  made  known  to  him,  that  he  would  be 
cast  out  from  the  bosom  of  the  church  by  the  apostolic  ban." 


Henry  was  more  indignant  than  terrified  at  these  words,  for  the 
invisible  power  of  the  papal  ban  of  excommunication  had  hitherto 
been  little  proved.  He  assembled  the  German  bishops  at  Worms, 
in  the  year  1076,  and  there  with  equal  precipitation  and  impatience  he 
caused  to  be  pronounced  at  once  against  the  pope  the  same  sentence 
of  deposition  with  which  the  latter  had  threatened  him.  He  then 
wrote  him  a  letter  of  the  following  contents : 

"  Henry,  king,  not  by  force,  but  by  the  sacred  ordination  of  God, 
to  Hildebrand — not  the  pope,  but  the  false  monk : 

"  This  greeting  hast  thou  merited  by  the  confusion  thou  hast  spread 
throughout  all  classes  of  the  church.  Thou  hast  trampled  under  thy  feet 
the  ministers  of  the  holy  church,  as  slaves  who  know  not  what  their 
lord  does ;  and  by  that  desecration  hast  thou  won  favour  from  the  lips 
of  the  common  herd  of  people.  We  have  long  suffered  this  because 
we  were  desirous  to  maintain  the  honour  of  the  Roman  chair.  But 
thou  hast  mistaken  our  forbearance  for  fear,  and  hast  become  embold- 
ened to  raise  thyself  above  the  royal  power,  bestowed  upon  us  by  God 
himself,  and  threatened  to  take  it  from  us,  as  if  we  had  received 
our  dominion  from  thee.  Thou  hast  raised  thyself  upon  the  steps 
which  are  called  cunning  and  deception,  and  which  are  accursed.  Thou 
hast  gained  favour  by  gold,  won  power  by  favour,  and  by  that  power 
thou  hast  gained  the  chair  of  peace,  from  whence  thou  hast  banished 
peace  itself  by  arming  the  inferior  against  the  superior.  St.  Peter, 
the  true  pope  himself,  savs :  '  Fear  God  and  honour  the  king ! ' 
but  as  thou  dost  not  fear  God,  thou  dost  not  honour  me,  his  envoy. 
Descend,  therefore,  thou  that  liest  under  a  curse  of  excommunica- 
tion by  our  and  all  bishops'  judgment,  descend !  Quit  the  apostolic 
seat  thou  hast  usurped !  And  then  shall  the  chair  of  St.  Peter  be  as- 
cended by  one  who  does  not  conceal,  under  the  divine  word,  his  arro- 
gance. I,  Henry,  by  God's  grace,  king,  and  all  our  bishops,  say  to 
thee,  '  descend,  descend ! ' ' 

Upon  this  the  pope  held  a  council  also,  and  not  only  pronounced 
the  sentence  of  excommunication  against  Henry,  but  he  deposed 
him  in  the  following  words:  "  In  the  name  of  the  Almighty  God, 
I  forbid  to  King  Henry,  the  son  of  the  Emperor  Henry,  who,  with 
haughtiness  unheard  of,  has  arisen  against  the  church,  the  govern- 
ment of  the  German  and  Italian  empire,  and  absolve  all  Christians 
from  the  oath  which  they  have  made  or  will  make  to  him,  and  for- 
bid that  any  one  serve  him  as  king.  And  occupying  thy  office, 
holy  Peter,  I  bind  him  with  the  bands  of  a  curse,  that  all  nations 
may  learn  that  thou  art  the  rock  whereon  the  Son  of  God  founded 
his  church." 

When,  at  the  Easter  festival  of  the  year  1016,  Henry  received, 
at  Utrecht,  the  news  of  his  excommunication,  he  immediately 
pronounced,  on  his  part,  through  the  violent  bishop,  William  of 
Utrecht,  an  anathema  against  Gregory;  and  the  bishops  of  Lom- 
bardy,  the  enemies  of  the  pope,  renewed  this  anathema  in  a  coun- 


cil  assembled  at  Pa  via,  under  the  presidency  of  Wibert,  Archbishop 
of  Ravenna. 

The  impression  made  by  these  unheard  of  events  was  varied,  ac- 
cording to  the  disposition  and  feelings  of  the  people.  The  Saxons 
rejoiced,  for  their  cause  was  now  the  cause  of  the  church,  and  hence- 
forward their  usual  shout  of  war  was  "  Holy  Peter !  "  whilst,  through- 
out the  empire  generally  there  was  a  division  of  parties;  every  where  the 
cry  was,  "  the  pope  for  ever !  "  or,  "  the  emperor  for  ever ! "  This  was, 
indeed,  a  time  of  bitter  contention,  and  hatred  reigned  throughout  the 
whole  country.  Had  the  king  been  a  good,  irreproachable  man,  pos- 
sessing the  greatness  of  soul  which  can  bind  and  rule  the  hearts,  the 
power  of  the  mere  word  would  not  have  overcome  him,  for  it  was  only 
from  public  opinion  that  this  word  received  its  force.  But  he  had 
now  numerous  and  bitter  enemies,  and  his  arrogance  after  conquering 
the  Saxons  had  served  to  increase  their  number.  Besides  the  Saxons, 
his  conduct  had  likewise  made  Rudolphus,  Duke  of  Swabia,  ex- 
tremely hostile  towards  him,  whilst  the  pope's  legates  exercised  all 
their  influence  upon  the  minds  of  the  people.  Thence  it  happened 
that  the  majority  of  German  princes  assembled  together  at  Tribur, 
on  the  Rhine,  in  order  to  elect  a  new  emperor.  Henry  hastened  to 
Oppenheim,  in  the  vicinity,  and  at  length,  after  many  entreaties 
and  vows  of  reform,  he  obtained  from  them  an  extension  of  one 
year's  delay ;  and  it  was  decided  that,  in  the  meantime,  the  pope 
should  be  requested  to  come  to  Augsburg,  and  himself  closely  inves- 
tigate the  affair ;  but  if  Henry,  at  the  end  of  the  year,  was  not  freed 
from  excommunication,  they  resolved  to  proceed  immediately  to  a 
fresh  election. 

In  this  desperate  state  Henry  formed  quite  an  unexpected  resolu- 
tion. In  the  anxiety  he  experienced  lest,  in  the  diet  at  Augsburg, 
where  his  enemies  constituted  the  majority  of  the  members,  nothing 
favourable  towards  him  should  be  determined  upon,  he  set  off  him- 
self, notwithstanding  he  possessed  no  means,  and  was  obliged  almost 
to  beg  for  his  support  (whilst  like  wise  the  princes  still  occupied  the  passes 
between  Italy  andGermany),  and  resolved  to  cross  the  Alps,  accompanied 
only  by  his  consort  and  one  faithful  companion.  He  passed  through 
Savoy,  where  he  was  furnished  by  his  mother-in-law,  the  Margravine 
of  Susa,  with  a  few  more  attendants,  and  as  it  was  winter,  and  indeed 
so  severe  a  winter  that  the  Rhine,  from  Martinmas  until  the  first  of 
April,  was  completely  frozen,  the  journey  over  the  mountains  covered 
with  snow  and  ice  was,  consequently,  attended  with  immeasur- 
able difficulties  and  danger,  and  the  empress,  wrapped  up  in  an  ox- 
hide, was  obliged  to  be  slidden  down  the  precipitous  paths  of  Mount 
Cenis  by  the  guides  of  the  country,  hired  for  the  purpose.  He  arrived 
at  last  in  Italy,  and  his  presence,  to  his  astonishment,  was  hailed 
with  joy;  for  the  report  had  already  spread  "that  the  emperor  was 
coming  to  humiliate  the  haughty  pope  by  the  power  of  the  sword." 
In  Upper  Italy  a  strong  hatred  had  long  been  cherished  against  Gre- 
gory; the  temporal  lords  were  indignant  at  his  recent  regulations, 


and  among  the  clergy  there  were  many  whom  his  laws  against  simony 
and  the  marriage  of  priests  had  made  his  enemies.  Besides,  many 
Italians,  even  the  Archbishops  of  Milan  and  Ravenna,  had  shared 
in  the  sentence  of  excommunication.  Had  Henry,  therefore,  not 
been  too  much  dejected  and  disheartened  by  what  he  had  experi- 
enced in  Germany,  he  might  speedily  have  acquired  a  numerous  train 
of  adherents  in  Italy,  to  offer  opposition  to  his  mighty  enemy,  but  he 
now  had  conciliation  alone  in  view ;  the  pope  too,  was  at  this  moment 
on  his  journey  to  Germany,  to  meet  the  diet  at  Augsburg,  and  there 
to  sit  in  judgment  upon  the  king.  Upon  hearing,  however,  of  Henry's 
sudden  arrival  in  Italy,  and  not  knowing  as  yet  whether  he  was  to  ex- 
pect good  or  bad  from  him,  he  deviated  from  his  direct  route,  and 
proceeded  to  the  strong  castle  of  Canossa,  there  to  gain  an  asylum 
with  the  Countess  Matilda,  the  daughter  and  heiress  of  the  rich 
Margrave  Boniface,  of  Tuscany,  and  who  was  a  zealous  friend  of  the 
papal  chair ;  having  even,  at  this  moment,  privately  made  over  to  it 
all  her  inheritance. 

Matilda  was  the  most  powerful  and  influential  princess  in  Italy, 
and  reigned  as  queen  throughout  Tuscany  and  Lombardy,  whilst  she 
was  likewise  equally  distinguished  for  her  mental  attainments  and 
firmness  of  spirit,  as  well  as  for  her  piety  and  virtue.  She  contested 
with  all  her  power,  during  a  period  of  thirty  years,  for  the  elevation 
of  the  pontifical  chair,  having  embraced  this  idea  with  all  the  strength 
of  her  natural  character,  and  to  which  she  was  still  more  influenced 
by  the  new  severe  regulations  adopted  by  Gregory  VII.,  which  so 
perfectly  agreed  with  her  own  austere  and  rigid  principles  of  virtue. 
She  was  married  to  Gozelo,  Duke  of  Lower  Lorraine,  but  they 
lived  separated  from  each  other,  owing  to  their  opinions  being  so 
completely  different ;  for  whilst  in  Italy,  where  she  ruled  over  the 
extensive  possessions  of  her  father  and  mother,  she  herself  was  busily 
occupied  in  the  support  of  Gregory,  her  husband  was  doing  all  he 
could  in  aid  of  the  emperor. 

Henry  now  turned  himself  therefore  to  the  Princess  Matilda,  in 
order  to  get  her  to  speak  to  the  pope  in  his  favour.  The  latter,  at 
first,  would  by  no  means  hear  of  a  reconciliation,  but  referred  all  to 
the  decision  of  the  diet;  at  last,  however,  upon  much  entreaty,  he 
yielded  permission  that  Henry,  in  the  garb  of  a  penitent,  covered 
with  a  shirt  of  hair,  and  with  naked  feet,  might  be  received  in  the 
castle.  As  the  emperor  advanced  within  the  outer  gate  it  was  im- 
mediately closed,  so  that  his  escort  was  obliged  to  remain  outside  the 
fortress,  and  he  himself  was  now  alone  in  the  outer  court,  where, 
in  January,  1077,  in  the  midst  of  a  severe  and  rigorous  winter,  he 
was  obliged  to  remain  three  whole  days  barefooted  and  shivering 
with  the  cold.  All  in  the  castle  were  moved.  Gregory  himself 
writes  in  a  letter,  "That  every  one  present  had  severely  censured  him, 
and  said  that  his  conduct  more  resembled  tyrannical  ferocity  than  apos- 
tolic severity."  The  Countess  Matilda,  whilst  vainly  pleading  for  him, 
was  affected  even  to  burning  tears  of  pity  and  grief,  and  Henry,  in  his 


distress,  at  length  only  prayed  that  he  might  at  least  be  allowed  to  go 
out  again.  On  the  fourth  of  these  dreadful  days,  the  pope  eventually 
admitted  him  before  him  and  absolved  him  from  excommunication ; 
but  Henry  was  still  forced  to  subscribe  to  the  most  severe  conditions. 
He  was  obliged  to  promise  to  present  himself  at  the  day  and  place 
the  pope  should  appoint,  in  order  to  hear  whether  he  might  remain 
king  or  not,  and,  meanwhile,  he  was  to  abstain  from  all  exercise  of 
the  royal  attributes  and  monarchal  power. 

With  shame  and  anger  in  his  heart,  Henry  now  withdrew,  and  as 
soon  as  the  Italians  and  his  old  friends  still  under  excommunication 
perceived  the  disposition  he  now  evinced  towards  the  pope,  they  as- 
sembled around  him,  and  he  remained  during  the  winter  in  Italy. 

His  penetrating  eye  now  perceived,  during  this  his  first  visit  to 
Italy,  that  the  power  of  the  pope  was  nowhere  so  weak  as  just  in 
that  very  country  of  dissension  and  venal  egotism,  and  that  who- 
ever only  understood  the  art  of  creating  adherents  by  money,  pro- 
mises, and  cunning,  would  very  soon  succeed  in  collecting  together 
a  considerable  party  to  aid  him  against  the  court. of  Rome.  The  il- 
lusory awe  he  had  hitherto  felt  for  the  papal  power  now  vanished ; 
his  former  courage  revived,  and  from  this  moment  he  commenced 
with  the  sword,  as  well  as  the  pen,  a  war  which  fye  sustained,  during 
thirty  years,  with  the  greatest  skill  and  determination,  and  in  which 
he  very  often  experienced  the  most  decisive  success. 

The  German  princes,  however,  were  still  his  enemies,  and  avail- 
ing themselves  of  his  absence,  held  a  diet  at  Forsheim  in  March, 
1077,  and  elected  Rudolphus  Duke  of  Swabia  as  rival  emperor.  Ger- 
many became  now  again  divided  by  violent  dissension;  for  Henry 
also  commanded  a  strong  party,  chiefly  among  the  cities  and  those  of 
the  clergy,  who  were  discontented  with  Gregory's  church  laws.  He 
returned  now  to  Germany ;  war  commenced,  and  for  three  years 
devastated  many  of  the  most  beautiful  countries  of  Germany. 
Rudolphus  was  obliged  to  retire  from  Swabia,  and  marched  to 
Saxony,  the  Saxon  people  and  the  valiant  Otho  of  Nordheim  being 
his  warm  supporters.  Henry  gave  the  duchy  of  Swabia,  together 
with  his  daughter,  Agnes,  to  the  bold  and  ambitious  Count  Fre- 
deric of  Buren,  who  now  removed  his  seat  from  the  village  of 
Buren,  at  the  foot  of  the  high  Staufen,  and  fixed  it  upon  the  pin- 
nacle of  that  mountain,  where  he  built  the  Castle  Hohenstaufen. 
Thus  was  laid  the  foundation  of  the  greatness  of  this  house,  al- 
though, at  the  same  time,  it  was  a  cause  of  enmity  between  the 
Hohenstaufens  and  the  other  noble  houses  in  the  vicinity,  who 
envied  the  good  fortune  of  this  new  race,  and  thought  they  had 
much  greater  right  to  the  duchy  of  Swabia.  The  Hohenstaufens, 
however,  remained  henceforward  faithful  friends  to  the  Salic-Im- 
perial house. 

Gregory  acted  with  duplicity  in  this  war  between  the  two  empe- 
rors; and  it  appeared  as  if  he  rejoiced  in  the  destruction  of  Germany, 
and  in  the  enervation  of  the  temporal  power  by  its  own  acts,  for 


instead  of  supporting  the  Saxons  and  their  king,  Rudolphus,  with  "all 
the  power  of  his  authority,  in  order  that  they  might  speedily  gain  the 
victory,  he  recognised  neither  of  the  emperors,  but  only  continued  to 
promise  them  that  he  would  come  to  Germany  and  be  himself  the 
judge  between  them.  "  Nothing,  however,  took  place,"  says  Bruno, 
the  historian  of  this  war,  "  except  that  the  pope's  legates  arrived 
and  waited  on  both  parties  in  each  camp,  promising  at  one  moment 
to  the  Saxons,  and  in  the  next  to  Henry,  the  favour  of  the  pope ; 
whilst  at  the  same  time  they  conveyed  away  from  both  armies  as 
much  gold  as  they  could  obtain — according  to  Roman  custom." 
The  Saxons  complained  severely  of  this  equivocal  conduct  of  the 
pope,  and  they  wrote  to  him  amongst  the  rest  as  follows:  li  All  our 
misfortunes  would  never  have  arisen,  or  at  least  have  been  but  trivial, 
if  upon  having  commenced  your  journey,  you  had  turned  neither  to 
the  right  nor  to  the  left.  Through  obedience  to  our  shepherd  we 
are  exposed  to  the  rapacity  of  the  wolf,  and  if  we  are  abandoned 
now  by  that  shepherd,  we  shall  be  more  unfortunate  and  miserable 
than  all  other  people."  This  bold  and  reproachful  address,  however, 
did  not  please  the  pope ;  he  returned  no  reply  to  it,  nor  did  it 
produce  more  determination  in  his  conduct  than  the  subsequent 
desperate  battle  fought  between  the  two  armies  at  Melrichstadt,  in 
Thuringia,  in  the  year  1078;  and  it  was  only  after  Rudolphus  had 
gained  superior  advantage  in  a  second  battle  near  Miihlhausen  in 
1080j  that  he  declared  for  him,  and  even  sent  him  the  crown,*  at 
the  same  time  again  excommunicating  Henry.  The  latter,  on  the 
other  hand,  assembled  a  council  at  Brixen,  again  deposed  the  pope, 
and  caused  to  be  elected  as  pontiff  against  him  the  excommunicated 
Archbishop  Wibert  of  Ravenna,  or  Clement  III.  Thus  there  were 
now  two  emperors  and  two  popes.  The  victory,  however,  this  time 
inclined  on  Henry's  side. 

Meantime,  in  1080,  he  suffered  a  severe  loss  in  a  third  battle,  on 
the  Elster,  in  Saxony,  not  far  from  Gera,  through  the  valour  of  Otho 
of  Nordheim,  who  there  displayed  the  genius  of  a  truly  great  leader, 
but,  unfortunately,  Rudolphus  himself  was  fatally  wounded  in  the 
battle  and  died.  His  right  hand  was  hewn  off,  and  Godfrey,  Duke 
of  Lower  Lorraine,  (Godefroy  of  Bouillon,  the  conqueror  of  the 
holy  tomb,)  as  related  in  some  records,  thrust  the  spear  of  the 
imperial  banner  into  his  stomach.  According  to  a  later  account,  when 
his  hand  was  shown  to  him,  King  Rudolphus  is  said  to  have  remarked  : 
"  Behold,  that  is  the  hand  with  which  I  swore  fidelity  to  King 
Henry !"  His  fall  was  considered  as  a  judgment  of  God,  and  Henry's 
adherents  increased  in  proportion;  so  that  he  was  now  enabled  to  un- 
dertake an  expedition  into  Italy  in  order  to  make  war  upon  his  most 
violent  opponent.  He  marched,  therefore,  with  his  army  and 
came  before  Rome,  which  he  besieged  three  times,  in  three  suc- 
cessive years,  and  reduced  Pope  Gregory  to  such  extremity  that  he 

*  This  crown  bore  the  following  inscription: — "Petra,  dedit  Petro,  Petrus  diadema 

REVOLT  OF  HENRY'S  SONS. — DEATH  OF  HENRY  iv.      207 

was  obliged  to  shut  himself  up  in  the  castle  of  St.  Angelo,  where  he 
was  besieged  by  the  Romans  themselves;  nevertheless,  Gregory's  spirit 
was  too  great,  and  his  will  too  inflexible,  to  humiliate  himself,  and 
follow  the  example  of  Henry  at  Canossa.  The  emperor  offered  him  re- 
conciliation if  he  would  crown  him,  but  he  replied  firmly :  "  He  could 
only  communicate  with  him  when  he  had  given  satisfaction  to  God 
and  the  church."  Henry  was  obliged,  therefore,  with  his  consort, 
to  be  crowned  by  the  rival  pope,  Clement,  at  Easter,  1084,  after  which 
he  retired  from  Italy.  Pope  Gregory,  however,  was  still  besieged  by 
the  Romans,  in  the  castle  of  St.  Angelo,  until  he  was  freedby  his  friend, 
Robert  Guiscard,  Duke  of  Normandy,  who  ruled  in  Lower  Italy. 
The  latter  subjected  the  city  to  plunder,  and  then  took  with  him  the 
old  and  obstinate  pope  (who,  even  in  misfortune,  would  not  renounce 
any  of  his  views  and  pretensions)  to  Lower  Italy,  where  he  died  the 
following  year  at  Salerno.  His  party  chose  Victor  to  succeed  him ; 
but  he  possessed  neither  the  genius  nor  the  force  of  Gregory,  for 
even  Clement  maintained  the  position  he  held,  and  continued  to  en- 
joy the  chief  authority  in  Rome. 

Favourable  and  tranquil  times  now  seemed  to  dawn  upon  the  Em- 
peror Henry.  The  successor  of  Rudolphus  of  Swabia,  Herman  of 
Luxembourg,  whom  the  princes  had  elevated  to  be  his  second  oppo- 
nent, could  not  maintain  himself  against  him,  and  spontaneously  laid 
down  the  dignity.  A  second,  Egbert  of  Thuringia,  died  by  assassi- 
nation, and  the  Saxons,  after  Otho  of  Nordheim  was  dead,  and  the 
irreconcilable  bishop,  Burkhard,  of  Halberstadt,  had  been  killed  by  his 
own  people,  (after  he  had  tried,  for  the  fourteenth  time,  to  excite  them 
to  revolt,)  wearied  with  constant  war,  voluntarily  submitted  them- 
selves to  the  emperor — now  made  milder  by  the  many  painful  trials 
he  had  undergone.  But  fate  had  reserved  for  him  visitations  still 
more  severe.  For  he  was  obliged  to  behold  revolt  against  him,  even, 
in  the  last  years  of  his  life,  his  eldest  son,  Conrad,  and  after  his  death 
in  1101,  his  second  son,  Henry,  was  gained  over  by  the  papal  party* 
Both  the  successors  of  Gregory,  Urban  II.  and  Pascal  II.,  renewed 
the  papal  ban  against  Henry  the  father,  and  his  son,  now  declared 
that  he  could  hold  no  community  with  an  excommunicated  person. 
Nay,  even  when  Henry,  confiding  in  the  apparent  reconciliation 
with  his  son,  was  about  to  attend  the  great  diet  of  princes  at  Mentz, 
the  latter  caused  him,  by  cunning  and  treachery,  to  be  disarmed, 
deprived  him  of  the  imperial  insignia,  by  means  of  the  Archbishops 
of  Mentz  and  Cologne,  and  placed  him  a  prisoner  at  Ingelheim, 
where  he  forced  him  formally  to  abdicate  the  throne. 

Henry,  however,  found  an  opportunity  to  escape  from  prison,  and, 
full  of  grief  and  trouble,  he  went  to  his  friend,  Otbert,  the  Bishop 
of  Liege.  The  latter,  and  Henry,  Duke  of  Lorraine,  assembled  an 
army  for  him,  and  beat  back  the  degenerated  son  when  crossing 
the  Meuse  in  pursuit  of  his  father.  But  the  Emperor  died  imme- 
diately afterwards  at  Liege,  oppressed  at  length  by  a  turbulent  and 
vexatious  career,  in  the  year  1106.  The  number  of  battles  he  had 


fought  during  his  life — being  no  less  than  sixty-five — sufficiently 
prove  its  agitated  and  anxious  character. 

The  Bishop  of  Liege  buried  the  emperor  as  beseemed;  but  to 
such  length  (fid  hatred  go,  that  his  body  was  again  exhumed,  con- 
veyed to  Spires,  and  there,  for  five  years,  it  remained  in  a  stone  cof- 
fin above  the  earth,  in  an  isolated,  unconsecrated  chapel,  until  at  last, 
in  the  year  1111,  Pope  Pascal  absolved  him  from  excommunica- 
tion. He  was  then  interred  with  greater  magnificence  than  any  other 
emperor  before  him. 

In  the  first  years  of  the  reign  of  Henry  V.,  the  ducal  race  of  the 
Billungens,  in  Saxony,  became  extinct ;  and  he  bestowed  the  duke- 
dom upon  Lothaire,  Count  of  S.upplingenburg. 

Henry  V.,  although  he  had  previously  revolted  against  his  father, 
now  acted  according  to  his  principles ;  and  in  defiance  of  the  papal  laws, 
he  still  continued  to  impart  the  investiture  with  ring  and  staff,  a  right, 
which,  as  he  declared  to  the  pope,  his  ancestors  since  Charles  the 
Great,  had  legitimately  exercised  for  three  centuries,  under  sixty- 
three  popes;  and  as  early  as  the  year  1100,  he  marched  with  a  large 
army  of  30,000  horse-soldiers,  besides  infantry  and  servitors,  for  Italy, 
in  order  to  be  crowned  with  the  imperial  crown,  and  in  case  of  neces- 
sity, to  maintain  his  rights  with  the  sword.  He  was  a  much  more  dan- 
gerous enemy  than  his  father,  for,  besides  his  physical  force,  he  knew 
likewise  how  to  avail  himself  of  cunning  and  hypocrisy.  Pope  Pascal 
II.  made  a  proposition  to  him,  which  would  have  ended  the  dispute  for 
ever  could  it  have  been  executed.  He  caused  the  emperor  to  be  apprised 
that — "As  he  founded  his  claims  to  the  investiture  only  upon  the 
donations  which  the  emperors  had  presented  to  the  church :  the  cities, 
duchies,  counties,  coins,  tolls,  farms,  and  castles,  he  might  take 
them  all  back  again;  the  church  would  only  retain  the  presents  of 
private  individuals,  and  the  tithes  and  sacrifices.  For,"  said  he,  "  it  is 
commanded  by  the  divine  law,  as  well  as  by  the  law  of  the  church, 
that  the  clergy  shall  not  occupy  themselves  with  temporal  matters, 
nay,  not  even  appear  at  court,  except  for  the  purpose  of  saving  an 
oppressed  person.  But  among  you,  however,  in  Germany,  the 
bishops  and  abbots  are  so  mixed  up  with  worldly  affairs,  that  the 
servants  of  the  altar  have  become  the  servants  of  the  court." 

The  pope  might  have  been  serious  when  making  this  proposition, 
for  he  was  extremely  strict  in  his  principles,  and  thought,  perhaps, 
in  this  manner  to  remedy  the  degeneration  of  the  clergy,  and  to 
bring  them  back  to  their  original  simple  condition.  But  Henry's 
penetrating  mind  foresaw  well  that  the  clergy  themselves,  particu- 
larly those  who,  by  their  possessions,  were  raised  to  the  rank  of  im- 
perial princes,  would  never  consent  to  make  such  a  restitution;  therefore 
he  promised  to  dispense  with  the  investiture,  if  the  pope  would  com- 
mand the  bishops  to  give  back  to  him,  the  emperor,  all  those  posses- 
sions which  they  had  received  from  Charlemagne  and  his  successors. 
He  then  advanced  to  Rome,  and  the  solemn  treaty  upon  this  affair 
was  to  be  ratified  between  him  and  the  pope  in  a  large  assembly  of  the 


bishops,  in  the  church  of  St.  Peter,  and  then  the  coronation  of  the 
emperor  was  to  be  celebrated.  But  when  the  above  condition  be- 
came the  subject  of  discussion,  the  most  animated  and  violent  oppo- 
sition arose  between  the  German  and  Italian  bishops,  and  a  long  and 
angry  contest  ensued.  At  length  one  of  the  German  knights  pre- 
sent exclaimed:  "  Why  do  you  all  continue  thus  wrangling?  Let  it 
suffice  for  you  to  know  that  our  lord,  the  emperor,  is  resolved  to  be 
crowned  as  formerly  were  Charlemagne,  Louis,  and  the  other  em- 
perors !"  The  pope  replied  once  more — "  That  he  could  not  perform 
the  ceremony  before  King  Henry  had  solemnly  sworn  to  discontinue 
the  right  of  investiture."  Henry  then,  by  the  counsel  of  his  chan- 
cellor, Adalbert,  and  Burchard,  Bishop  of  Miinster,  summoned  his 
guards,  and  caused  the  pope,  as  well  as  the  cardinals,  to  be  made  pri- 
soners. The  Romans,  enraged  and  furious  at  this  violent  proceeding, 
on  the  following  day  attacked  the  Germans,  who  were  encamped 
around  the  church  of  St.  Peter.  The  king  speedily  mounted  his 
steed  and  boldly,  but  rashly,  rushing  into  the  midst  of  the  enemy, 
pierced  five  Romans  with  his  own  lance,  but  was  himself  wounded 
and  thrown  from  his  horse.  He  was  rescued  by  Count  Otho,  of 
Milan,  who  hastily  assisted  him  to  mount  his  own  horse,  which  he 
gave  up  to  the  king,  but  for  which  service  he  was  cut  to  pieces  by  the 
Romans.  A  murderous  combat  was  continued  throughout  the  whole 
day,  until  at  length  towards  the  evening  the  emperor  cheered  on  his 
troops  to  make  a  final  charge,  the  result  of  which  was  that  the  Ro- 
mans were  completely  put  to  flight,  and  were  driven  partly  into  the 
Tiber,  and  partly  across  the  bridges  back  into  the  city.  The  church 
of  St.  Peter,  together  with  all  that  portion  of  the  city  remained  in  the 
hands  of  the  Germans,  but  which  the  emperor  abandoned,  together 
with  all  his  prisoners,  in  order  to  scour  the  country  around  in  the  most 
dreadful  manner.  The  Romans,  now  reduced  to  extreme  necessity, 
urgently  entreated  the  pope  to  conclude  a  treaty  of  peace  with  the 
emperor.  He  had  now  been  a  prisoner  sixty-one  days ;  and  at  length 
yielded  to  their  prayers.  He,  accordingly,  agreed  that  the  emperor 
should  retain  the  investiture  with  ring  and  staff,  and  promised,  at  the 
same  time,  that  he  would  never  excommunicate  him  on  account  of 
this  proceeding.  The  treaty  was  signed  by  fourteen  cardinals,  and 
in  the  emperor's  name  by  fourteen  princes,  and  Henry  himself  was, 
on  the  13th  of  April,  1111,  solemnly  crowned  emperor  by  Pascal. 

But  scarcely  were  the  Germans  out  of  Rome  when  the  whole 
clergy  severely  censured  the  pope,  and  persuaded  him  to  assemble  a 
council  and  excommunicate  the  agreement  made  between  the  king 
and  him,  as  having  been  extorted  by  violence;  for,  according  to  the 
promise  made  by  the  pope,  they  durst  not  pronounce  the  ban  against 
the  emperor  himself.  The  dispute  thus  commenced  anew,  and  con- 
tinued, also,  under  the  following  popes,  Gelasius  II.  and  Calixtus  II., 
ten  years  longer.  As  long  as  Pascal  lived,  the  emperor  was  not 
himself  visited  with  the  general  excommunication  of  the  church ; 
but  the  legates  and  many  of  the  heads  of  the  church  excommunicated 


him  in  their  dioceses,  and  thereby  gave  occasion  to  fresh  divisions 
and  dissensions  in  Germany;  and  a  great  portion  of  the  imperial 
princes  accordingly  refused  obedience  to  the  emperor  and  his  laws. 
Arbitrary  feuds,  robbery,  devastation,  and  murder  took  the  upper 
hand.  The  most  faithful  allies  of  the  emperor  were  his  relations  of 
the  race  of  Hohenstaufen,  and  he  raised  their  house  accordingly  still 
higher.  When  Frederick,  the  first  duke  to  whom  his  father  had 
given  the  duchy  of  Swabia,  died,  he  transferred  it  to  his  eldest  son, 
Frederick,  and,  shortly  afterwards,  he  gave  the  duchy  of  Franconia 
to  his  second  son,  Conrad. 

His  own  sister  Agnes,  the  widow  of  Duke  Frederick,  he  married  to 
the  Margrave,  Leopold  of  Austria,  of  the  house  of  Babenberg,  the 
father  of  that  Leopold  who  was  afterwards  Duke  of  Bavaria,  and 
who  also  established  on  the  place  where  Windobona  then  stood,  the 
foundation  of  the  present  city  of  Vienna.  Thus  in  the  south  of 
Germany  the  emperor  gained  the  superiority,  but  in  the  north,  on 
the  contrary,  he  could  acquire  no  lasting  power.  Here  the  Arch- 
bishop Adalbert  of  Mentz,  who  had  been  elevated  by  him  (and  who 
was  previously  his  own  chancellor,  and  had  advised  him  to  imprison, 
the  pope,  Pascal,  but  had  now  become  his  uncompromising  enemy), 
worked  most  strenuously  against  him,  and  excited  one  prince  after 
the  other  to  oppose  him.  Saxony,  as  in  his  father's  time,  became 
now  the  centre  of  opposition  to  him  likewise.  The  emperor  ad- 
vanced in  the  year  1115  with  an  army  into  Saxony,  but  in  a  battle, 
not  far  from  Eisleben,  he  was  entirely  defeated  by  the  Saxon 
princes.  An  expedition,  which  he  soon  afterwards  made  to  Italy, 
gave  him  for  a  short  time  the  superiority  in  Rome,  but  brought 
upon  him  in  1118  the  general  excommunication  of  the  new  pope, 
Gelasius,  which  his  successor  Calixtus  II.  confirmed.  The  chief 
object  of  dispute  was  still  the  right  of  investiture.  Finally,  in  the 
year  1122,  both  parties,  tired  of  the  long  dispute,  concluded  a  solemn 
treaty  at  the  diet  of  Worms,  where  both  yielded  to  each  other. 
The  emperor  permitted  the  free  choice  of  bishops,  and  gave  up  the 
investiture  with  the  ring  and  staff,  as  signs  of  spiritual  jurisdiction, 
but  for  which  concession,  on  the  other  hand,  the  election  was  to  take 
pkce  in  the  presence  of  the  king,  or  of  his  plenipotentiary,  and  he 
was  to  decide  in  doubtful  cases,  or  in  any  disagreement  of  the  electors, 
and  lastly  confer  fiefs  of  temporal  possessions  with  his  sceptre.  The 
spiritual  consecration  of  this  bishop  elect  was  to  take  place  in  Ger- 
many after  the  investiture  with  the  sceptre;  but  in  Italy  it  was  to 
precede  it. 

After  the  records  were  publicly  read,  the  legate  of  the  pope  gave 
the  emperor  the  kiss  of  peace,  and  afterwards  the  communion.  The 
joy  expressed  by  the  peacefully-minded  members  of  the  assembly 
upon  this  reconciliation  was  great;  all  separated  as  the  records  say, 
with  infinite  pleasure. 

The  emperor  reigned  but  a  few  years  longer — in  peace,  it  is  tru 
with  the  church,  but  not  without  constant  dissensions  in  the  Ge 
man  empire.  Amidst  plans  for  strengthening  the  imperial  power, 


in  order  to  oppose  more  firmly  those  disorders,  lie  died  suddenly  at 
Utrecht  in  1125,  in  the  forty-fourth  year  of  his  age.  He  died 
childless,  and  with  him  the  Salian  house  became  extinct.  Most  of 
his  hereditary  possessions  came  to  his  nephews,  the  Dukes  Fre- 
derick and  Conrad  of  Hohenstaufen. 

Henry  did  not  acquire  the  love  of  his  contemporaries ;  he  was  des- 
potic, severe,  and  often  cruel.  On  the  other  hand,  however,  it  is  not 
to  be  denied  that  he  possessed  many  great  qualities :  activity,  bold- 
ness, perseverance  in  misfortune,  and  a  noble-minded  disposition. 
The  maintenance  of  the  imperial  dignity  against  every  enemy  ap- 
peared to  be  with  him  the  chief  object  of  his  life.  He  was  en- 
tombed at  Spires  in  the  grave  of  his  ancestors. 

Meantime,  whilst  the  two  emperors,  Henry  IV.  and  V.,  were  en- 
gaged in  such  warm  and  serious  disputes  with  the  pope,  more  than  a 
hundred  thousand  Christians,  summoned  by^  the  voice  of  the  church, 
and  excited  by  their  own  immediate  enthusiasm,  assembled  together, 
and  abandoned  their  country  in  order  to  recover  and  secure  from  the 
power  of  the  infidels  the  tomb  of  the  Saviour  in  that  holy  land, 
wherein  his  divine  footsteps  remained  imprinted. 

Already,  from  the  earliest  ages,  it  had  been  a  pious  custom  to  make 
pilgrimages  to  the  holy  land,  to  pray  at  its  sacred  places,  and  to 
bathe  in  the  waters  of  the  Jordan,  which  had  been  consecrated  by 
the  baptism  of  our  Lord.  Constantine  the  Great,  the  first  Roman, 
emperor  who  embraced  Christianity,  as  well  as  his  mother,  Helena, 
issued  orders  for  the  purification  and  adornment  of  these  holy  places 
in  Palestine,  and  the  restoration  of  the  sacred  tomb  at  the  foot  of 
Mount  Golgotha;  and  they  erected  over  the  tomb,  at  enormous  out- 
lay, a  lofty  dome,  supported  by  beautiful  pillars,  with  an  adjoining 
oratory,  richly  adorned.  Eastward  of  the  sepulchre  Constantine  built 
a  larger  and  still  more  magnificent  temple.  He  celebrated  the 
thirtieth  anniversary  of  his  reign  by  the  consecration  of  this  temple, 
on  which  occasion  he  was  himself  present;  and  the  pious  Helena, 
although  in  extreme  old  age,  made  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land 
at  the  same  time,  and  built  two  churches,  one  at  Bethlehem  on  the 
spot  where  our  Saviour  was  born,  and  the  other  on  the  top  of  the 
Mount  of  Olives. 

After  this,  pilgrimages  to  the  Holy  Land  became  more  and  more 
frequent ;  and  even  in  the  seventh  century,  when  the  land  was  under 
the  dominion  of  the  Arabs,  the  pilgrims  were  not  obstructed  or  dis- 
turbed in  their  devotions.  For  the  Arabs  rejoiced  in  the  advantage 
they  derived  from  the  visits  of  so  many  strangers,  and  took  equal 
care  not  to  molest  either  the  Patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  or  the  Christian 
community.  But  when  the  Turks,  a  savage  and  barbarous  people, 
seized  upon  the  country  in  the  year  1073,  complaint  after  complaint 
reached  Europe  of  the  cruel  treatment  heaped  upon  the  pious  pil- 
grims, and  of  the  shameful  profanation  committed  by  the  infidels  on 
the  consecrated  spots. 

In  the  year  1094,  a  hermit,  named  Peter  of  Arniens,  appeared 

P  2 


before  Pope  Urban  II.  on  his  return  from  a  pilgrimage  to  Palestine, 
•with  a  letter  of  petition  from  the  Patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  and  gave  a 
most  affecting  description  of  the  unheard-of  sufferings  experienced 
by  the  Christians  resident  there,  as  well  as  by  the  pilgrims  who 
repaired  thither.  The  pope  praised  and  encouraged  his  zeal,  and 
sent  him  with  letters  of  recommendation  to  all  the  princes  in  the 
various  Christian  countries,  in  order  to  arouse  the  minds  of  the 
people,  and  to  prepare  them  for  a  great  expedition.  The  enthu- 
siastic language  of  the  hermit,  together  with  the  fire  which  still 
shone  from  his  deep-sunk  eye,  and  his  wasted,  meagre  form,  on 
which  was  imprinted  the  sufferings  he  had  endured,  made  the 
deepest  impression,  and  excited,  wherever  he  went,  equal  enthusiasm 
among  all  classes,  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest.  After  this,  in  the 
year  1095,  the  pope  convoked  a  great  council  of  the  church,  at 
Piacenza,  in  Italy,  and  another  at  Clermont,  in  France,  at  which 
were  present  fourteen  archbishops,  two  hundred  and  twenty-five 
bishops,  and  four  hundred  abbots,  besides  numerous  princes,  nobles, 
and  knights.  And  when  Peter  the  Hermit  and  the  pope  advanced 
before  them,  and  with  words  of  overpowering  fire  and  energy  ap- 
pealed to  and  called  upon  this  assembly  to  come  forward  in  deli- 
verance of  the  sacred  tomb,  a  thousand  voices  shouted  aloud:  "It 
is  the  will  of  God  I  It  is  the  will  of  God !"  When  the  pope  and 
the  hermit  had  concluded  their  eloquent  appeal,  Ademar,  Bishop  of 
Puy,  was  the  first  to  press  forward,  and  throwing  himself  at  the 
feet  of  the  pontiff,  begged  from  his  holiness  permission  to  proceed  to 
the  holy  war.  Many  of  the  clergy  and  laity  followed  his  example, 
and  as  a  sign  of  their  devotion  to  the  pious  undertaking,  they  sewed 
a  red  cross  on  their  right  shoulder.  The  final  day  of  meeting  for 
.the  great  expedition  was  now  fixed  to  take  place  on  the  15th  of 
August,  1096. 

Accordingly,  innumerable  multitudes  assembled,  including  war- 
riors from  Italy,  France,  Lorraine,  Flanders,  and  particularly  from 
Normandy,  where  the  same  love  for  distant  and  adventurous  expe- 
ditions, that  had  ever  distinguished  their  heroic  ancestors,  was  now 
evinced  by  the  present  natives.  Not  only  the  knights  and  nobles, 
but  the  whole  people  were  set  in  motion,  for  as  also  in  France  the 
labouring  classes  experienced  the  severest  oppression,  many  of  these 
joined  the  expedition;  because,  according  to  the  pope's  decree,  free- 
dom w^as  attained  by  dedication  to  the  holy  cross.  Germany,  which 
was  then  at  variance  with  the  pope,  and  agitated  by  internal  dis- 
cord, was  least  affected  by  this  first  movement.  With  the  com- 
mencement of  the  spring,  Peter  the  Hermit  set  out  at  the  head  of  a 
crowd  of  people, — wdiose  impatience  would  not  allow  them  to  await 
the  appointed  time — in  company  with  their  commander,  a  knight 
named  Walter  the  Pennyless;  but  their  army  was  deficient  in  order 
and  discipline,  and  especially  in  a  supply  of  proper  weapons.  Before 
it  reached  Asia,  the  greater  part,  on  account  of  the  robberies  com- 
mitted, were  cut  off  by  the  Bulgarians  and  Hungarians,  and  those  who, 


under  the  guidance  of  Peter  and  Walter,  reached  and  landed  on  the 
first  Turkish  territory,  were  so  badly  received  and  cut  up  by  the 
Turks,  that  very  few  escaped ;  and  Peter  was  forced  to  return  home 
with  the  remnant  in  a  very  melancholy  plight.  A  second  and  still 
ruder  horde  commenced  its  labours  for  the  cross  of  Christ,  by  slaying 
the  Jews  in  the  cities  on  the  Rhine ;  in  Mentz  alone  nine  hundred 
were  in  this  way  put  to  death.  In  this  was  evinced  the  universal 
hatred  of  the  people  towards  the  Jews,  who,  by  their  usurious  prac- 
tices, and  the  immense  wealth  gained  thereby,  brought  down  upon 
their  heads  this  full  measure  of  vengeance.  This  party,  and  several 
other  troops  of  crusaders,  however,  only  reached  Hungary. 

So  unpropitious  a  commencement  might  easily  have  crushed  all 
inclinations  for  further  attempts,  had  not  these  first  adventurers, 
in  great  part,  consisted  of  the  lowest  class  of  the  people,  and  had 
not  their  leaders  been  deficient  in  prudence,  experience,  and  noble 
zeal  and  energy.  Accordingly,  at  the  appointed  time,  in  the  middle 
of  summer,  a  grand  army,  well-appointed  and  disciplined,  and  burn- 
ing with  enthusiastic  courage,  was  assembled,  and  on  the  15th  of 
August,  1096,  set  out  for  its  destination.  No  king  was  present  as 
leader  of  the  assembled  forces ;  but,  among  the  princes  and  nobles, 
Godfrey,  Duke  of  Lower  Lorraine,  called,  from  his  ancestral  seat, 
Godefroy  of  Bouillon,  stood  proudly  forward,  conspicuous  in  every 
heroic  virtue ;  having  often  fought  in  the  armies  of  Henry  IV.  He 
was  appointed  the  leader  of  a  body  of  90,000  men,  and  directed  his 
course  through  Hungary  and  the  dominions  of  the  Greek  emperor, 
whilst  other  princes  proceeded  through  Italy  to  Constantinople.  He 
conducted  his  army,  with  the  most  admirable  order,  through  coun- 
tries where  so  many  of  the  crusaders  had  already  perished,  and 
having  joined  the  other  princes,  entered  the  Turkish  territories  in 
the  spring  of  1097.  The  united  forces  of  the  crusaders  consisted  of 
300,000  men,  and  with  the  women,  children,  and  servants,  made  up 
a  body  of  half  a  million.  Unfortunately,  however,  they  already  found 
in  the  tribe  of  the  Sedjoucidians,  who  first  opposed  their  progress, 
an  enemy  equally  cunning  and  active,  whilst  they  met  with  still 
greater  and  more  serious  obstacles,  in  the  deserts  where  the  Turks 
had  destroyed  every  thing  which  might  have  procured  them  some 
sustenance,  and  through  which  they  had  to  pass  from  Asia  Minor 
to  Palestine.  Hunger  and  disease  carried  off  every  day  numbers 
of  men  and  horses ;  even  the  bravest  began  to  waver,  and  had  it 
not  been  for  the  active  genius  and  heroic  firmness  displayed  by  the 
brave  Godfrey,  this  expedition  would  perhaps  have  experienced  the 
same  unfortunate  result  as  those  that  preceded  it. 

At  length,  in  May,  1099,  the  wearied  feet  of  the  remaining  portion 
of  the  army  which  had  escaped  so  many  dangers,  trod  the  cherished 
soil  of  that  hallowed  land,  and  on  the  6th  of  July,  they  beheld 
from  the  top  of  a  mountain  near  Emmaus,  the  object  of  their 
ardent  hopes  and  desires — Jerusalem !  One  universal  shout  of  joy 
filled  the  air,  vibrating  in  undying  echoes  from  hill  to  hill,  whilst 


tears  of  rapture  burst  from  every  eye.  Their  noble  leader  could 
scarcely  prevent  them  from  rushing  forwards  at  once,  in  their  wild 
enthusiasm,  to  storm  the  walls  of  the  holy  city.  But  Godfrey  soon 
perceived  that  the  conquest  of  the  place  was  not  easy,  and  could  not 
be  effected  in  a  moment,  especially  as  the  garrison  was  much 
stronger  in  numbers  than  the  crusaders,  of  whom  out  of  300,000, 
only  40,000  men  were  now  left.  At  length  every  preparation  being 
made,  and  warlike  machines  with  storming-ladders  provided  in  spite 
of  every  existing  difficulty — for  the  country  around  was  deficient  in 
wood — the  first  general  assault  was  made  on  the  14th  of  July;  but 
as  the  besieged  defended  themselves  with  the  greatest  bravery,  this 
first  attempt  failed.  On  the  following  day,  however,  the  Christians 
renewed  the  attack,  and  Godfrey  was  one  of  the  first  that  mounted 
the  enemy's  ramparts.  His  sword  opened  a  path  for  the  rest ;  the 
walls  were  soon  gained  on  all  sides,  the  gates  forced  open,  and  the 
whole  army  rushed  into  the  city.  A  dreadful  scene  of  massacre  now 
commenced;  in  their  first  fury  the  victors  put  all  to  the  sword,  and 
but  few  of  the  inhabitants  escaped.  When,  however,  reason  at  length 
resumed  its  sway,  the  warriors,  wiping  the  blood  from  their  swords, 
returned  them  to  their  scabbards,  and  then  proceeded  bareheaded  and 
barefooted,  to  prostrate  themselves  before  the  holy  places ;  and  the 
same  city  which  just  before  had  resounded  in  every  part  with  the 
•wild  shrieks  of  the  slaughtered,  was  now  filled  with  prayers  and 
hymns  to  the  honour  and  glory  of  God. 

The  election  of  a  sovereign  for  the  new  kingdom  of  Jerusalem, 
became  now  an  object  of  consideration,  and  Godefroy  of  Bouillon 
appeared  to  all  as  the  most  worthy  to  rule;  but  he  refused  to 
wear  a  crown  of  jewels  on  the  spot  where  the  Saviour  of  the  world 
had  bled  beneath  one  of  thorns,  and  would  only  take  the  title  of 
"  Defender  of  the  Holy  Sepulchre."  As  he  died,  however,  in  the 
following  year,  his  brother  Baldwin  assumed  at  once  the  title  of 

Of  the  other  crusades,  which  subsequently  took  place  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  Christian  dominion  in  Palestine,  and  in  which 
the  German  emperors  also  took  part,  our  history  will  speak  here- 

After  the  extinction  of  the  Franks,  a  moment  had  again  arrived 
when  the  German  princes,  if  they  were  desirous  of  becoming  inde- 
pendent and  sovereign  rulers,  were  not  obliged  to  place  a  new  em- 
peror above  themselves;  but  such  a  thought  was  foreign  to  their 
minds,  and  they  preferred  paying  homage  to  one,  whom  they  had 
exalted  to  the  highest  step  of  honour,  rather  than  behold  Germany 
divided  into  numerous  petty  kingdoms. 

Accordingly  in  1125  the  German  tribes  again  encamped  on  the 
banks  of  the  Rhine,  in  the  vicinity  of  Mentz,  and  ten  princes  selected 
from  each  of  the  four  principal  families,  viz:  Saxony,  Franconia,  Ba- 
varia, and  Swabia,  assembled  in  Mentz  for  the  first  election.  Three 
princes  only  were  proposed :  Duke  Frederick  of  Swabia,  (the  mighty 

LOTHAIRE  II. — 1125-1137 — THE  GHIBELINS  AND  GUELFS.  215 

and  courageous  Hohenstaufen,)  Lothaire  of  Saxony,  and  Leopold  of 
Austria.  The  two  latter  on  their  knees,  and  almost  in  tears,  en- 
treated that  they  might  be  spared  the  infliction  of  such  a  heavy 
burden,  whilst  Frederick,  in  his  proud  mind,  ambitiously  thought 
that  the  crown  could  be  destined  for  none  other  but  himself;  and 
such  feeling  of  pretension  indeed  was  too  visibly  expressed  in  his  coun- 
tenance. Adalbert,  the  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  however,  who  was  himself 
not  well  inclined  towards  the  Hohenstaufens,  put  to  all  three  the  ques- 
tion: "  Whether  each  wras  willing  and  ready  to  yield  and  swear  alle- 
giance to  him  that  should  be  elected?"  The  two  former  immediately 
answered  in  the  affirmative;  but  Frederick  hesitated  and  left  the  as- 
sembly, under  the  excuse  that  he  must  take  council  of  his  friends. 
The  princes  were  all  indignant  at  this  conduct,  and  the  archbishop 
persuaded  them  at  length  to  make  choice  of  Lothaire  of  Saxony, 
although  against  his  own  will. 

But  hostilities  soon  broke  out  between  the  two  powerful  Hohen- 
staufen dukes,  Frederick  of  Swabia  and  Conrad  of  Franconia,  and 
during  nearly  the  entire  reign  of  the  new  king,  the  beautiful  lands  of 
Swabia,  Franconia,  and  Alsace,  were  laid  waste  and  destroyed,  until 
at  last  both  the  dukes  found  themselves  compelled  to  bow  before  the 
imperial  authority.  In  this  dispute  the  Emperor  Lothaire,  in  order 
to  strengthen  his  party,  had  recourse  to  means  which  produced  agita- 
tion and  dissension,  and  continued  to  do  so  for  more  than  a  hundred 
years  afterwards.  He  gave  his  only  daughter  Gertrude  in  marriage  to 
Henry  the  Proud,  the  powerful  Duke  of  Bavaria,  (of  the  Guelfs,)  and 
gave  him,  besides  Bavaria,  the  duchy  of  Saxony  likewise.  This  is  the 
first  instance  of  two  dukedoms  being  governed  by  one  person.  Nay, 
•with  the  acquiescence  of  the  pope,  and  under  the  condition  that  after 
Henry's  death  they  were  to  become  the  property  of  the  Roman  church, 
he  even  invested  him  with  the  valuable  hereditary  possessions  of 
Matilda  in  Italy,  as  a  fief,  so  that  the  duke's  authority  extended  from 
the  Elbe  to  far  beyond  the  Alps,  being  much  more  powerful  than 
even  that  of  the  emperor  himself;  for  besides  his  patrimonial  lands 
in  Swabia  and  Bavaria,  he  had  likewise  inherited  from  his  mother 
the  moiety  of  the  great  ancestral  possessions  in  Saxony,  and  in  addi- 
tion to  all  this  his  consort  now  brought  him  the  entire  lands  of  Sup- 
plinburg,  Nordheim,  and  old  Brunswick.  Thus  the  foundation  for  the 
subsequent  jealousy  so  destructive  to  Germany  and  Italy,  between  the 
Guelfs  and  Hohenstaufens — the  latter  (styled  by  the  Italians  Ghibel- 
lini,)  according  to  their  castle,  Veibling  on  the  Rems,  being  called 
Veiblingers — was  laid  at  this  period,  and  the  faction-names  of 
the  Guelfs  and  Ghibelins  henceforward  continued  for  centuries 
afterwards  to  resound  from  Mount  Etna  and  Vesuvius  to  the  coasts 
of  the  North  and  East  Sea.  Lothaire's  reign  became  so  shaken 
and  troubled,  partly  by  the  dispute  of  the  Hohenstaufens  and  partly 
by  the  Italian  campaigns,  that  but  very  few,  if  any  of  the  great 
hopes  he  had  at  first  excited  by  his  chivalric,  wise,  and  pious  cha- 
racter, were  brought  into  effect. 


During  his  second  and  rather  successful  campaign  in  Italy,  in  the 
year  1137,  Lothaire  was  suddenly  seized  with  illness,  and  died  on 
his  return,  in  the  village  of  Breitenwang,  between  the  rivers  Inn  and 
Lech,  in  the  wildest  part  of  the  Tyrolese  mountains.  His  body 
was  conveyed  to,  and  interred  in  the  monastery  of  Kb'nigslutter,  in 
Saxony,  founded  by  himself. 

However  much  the  two  princely  houses  of  the  Guelfs  and 
Ghibelins  may,  from  this  time,  have  continued  -to  attract  and  com- 
mand attention,  there  was  still  a  third,  which,  under  this  reign,  ex- 
cited not  less  interest.  Lothaire  had  given  the  Margraviate  of  North- 
Saxony,  which  then  comprised  the  present  Altmark,  to  Albert  the 
Bear,  of  the  house  of  Anhalt,  one  of  the  most  distinguished  princes 
of  his  time.  He  conquered  from  the  Vandals  the  middle  marches, 
as  well  as  those  on  the  Uker  and  Prignitz,  together  with  the  town 
of  Brandenburg ;  and  finally,  in  order  to  excite  in  these  countries  the 
desired  industry,  he  procured  from  Flanders  a  great  number  of  agri- 
cultural labourers.  He  may  likewise  be  regarded  as  the  founder  of 
the  Brandenburg  territory ;  and  it  was  also  under  his  rule  that,  about 
the  middle  of  the  twelfth  century,  the  name  of  Berlin  appeared  for 
the  first  time,  which  place,  therefore,  dates  its  origin  from  the 
same  period  that  Leopold  of  Austria  laid  the  foundation  of  Vienna. 



Conrad  III.,  1 138-1 152— The  Guelfs 'and  Ghibelins— Weinsberg— The  Faithful 
Wives — Conrad's  Crusade — Disastrous  Results — His  Death,  1152 — Frederick  I.  or 
Barbarossa,  1152-1190 — His  noble  Character  and  distinguished  Qualities — Ex- 
tends his  Dominions — The  Cities  of  Lombardy  and  Milan— Pavia— Pope  Adrian 
IV. — The  Emperor's  Homage — Otho  of  Wittelsbach — Dispute  between  the  Pope 
and  the  Emperor — Milan  taken  and  razed — The  Confederation  of  the  Lombar- 
dian  Towns — The  Battle  of  Lignano — Frederick  defeated — Pope  Alexander  and 
Frederick — Venice — Henry  the  Lion  of  Brunswick — His  Kise  and  Fall  — Recon- 
ciliation and  Peace — Lombardy — Frederick's  Crusade  and  Death  in  Palestine,  1190. 

THE  election  even  this  time  did  not  fall  upon  him  who  considered 
he  had  the  greatest  right  to  the  crown,  namely,  the  son-in-law  of 
Lothaire,  the  powerful  Henry  (the  Proud)  of  Bavaria  and  Saxony, 
although  he  had  possession  of  the  jewels  of  the  crown;  for  the 
princes,  repulsed  by  his  pride,  elected  on  the  22d  of  February, 
1138,  the  Hohenstaufen  duke,  Conrad  of  Franconia,  whom  mis- 
fortune had  made  wise,  and  to  whom  his  elder  brother,  Frederick,  who 
contested  with  Lothaire  for  the  crown,  willingly  gave  up  now  the 
precedence.  Henry  the  Proud  would  not  bend  before  the  new  em- 
peror, whereupon  he  was  declared  an  outlaw,  his  two  duchies  taken 
from  him,  and  Bavaria  given  to  the  margrave,  Leopold  of  Austria, 
the  half-brother  of  the  Emperor  Conrad  by  the  maternal  side,  and 


Saxony  to  Albert  the  Bear,  of  Brandenburg.  Henry  died  almost 
immediately  afterwards,  and  left  a  son  ten  years  of  age,  who  be- 
came afterwards  so  celebrated  under  the  title  of  Henry  the  Lion,  to 
whom  Albert,  at  the  desire  of  the  emperor,  formally  resigned 
the  duchy  of  Saxony,  which  he  had  not  been  able  to  conquer  (so 
faithful  did  the  Saxons  remain  attached  to  the  Guelfic  house) ;  and 
in  return  he  was  allowed  to  possess  his  hereditary  estates  in  that 
country  as  a  princely  margraviate,  independent  of  the  duchy. 

In  Bavaria  also,  Count  Guelf,  of  Altorf,  the  brother  of  Henry  the 
Proud,  still  contended  against  the  house  of  Austria,  and  not  unsuc- 
cessfully. But  when,  in  the  year  1 140,  he  ventured  to  march  against 
the  emperor,  near  Weinsberg,  he  was  vanquished  in  the  battle.  It 
was  in  this  action  that  the  names  "Guelfs  and  Ghibelins"  were  first 
heard  as  party  names,  for  the  battle-cry  of  the  troops  on  one  side 
was,  "  Strike  for  the  Guelfs,"  and  of  those  on  the  other,  "  Strike  for 
the  Ghibelins."  After  the  battle,  the  long  besieged  city  of  Weinsberg 
was  obliged  to  yield.  The  emperor,  irritated  at  its  long  resistance, 
had  resolved  to  destroy  it  with  fire  and  sword.  He,  however,  per- 
mitted the  females  of  the  city  previously  to  retire,  and  to  carry  with 
them  their  dearest  jewels.  And  behold,  when  the  day  dawned,  and 
the  gates  were  opened,  the  women  advanced  in  long  rows,  and  the 
married  bore  each  upon  her  back  her  husband,  and  the  others  each 
their  dearest  relative.  This  affecting  scene  so  moved  the  emperor, 
that  he  not  only  spared  the  men,  but  also  the  whole  city.* 

The  Emperor  Conrad  was  now  about  to  proceed  to  Italy,  to  re- 
confirm and  establish  there  the  imperial  dignity,  when  intelligence 
arrived  in  Europe  that  the  unbelievers  threatened  the  Holy  Land, 
and  had  already  conquered  and  destroyed  the  fortified  city  of  Edessa, 
a  frontier  fortress ;  upon  which,  Pope  Eugene  III.  sent  letters  of  exhor- 
tation to  all  the  European  kings  and  princes,  that  they  might  assist  the 
Christians  in  the  east ;  and  a  pious  and  zealous  man,  the  holy  Abbot  Ber- 
nard of  Clairvaux,  in  France,  journeyed  throughout  Europe,  preaching 
so  powerfully,  that  many  thousands  took  the  cross.  And  when  he  ad- 
dressed Louis  VII.  of  France,  the  multitude  of  those  who  took  the  cross 
was  so  great,  that  St.  Bernard  (he  being  afterwards  canonised),  was 
obliged  to  cut  up  his  own  clothes  to  make  crosses  of  them,  and  both  the 
king  and  his  consort  Eleanor  resolved  upon  the  expedition.  St.  Bernard 
now  turned  his  attention  to  Germany,  and  tried  to  stimulate  the  Em- 
peror Conrad,  who  long  refused,  and  avoided  the  abbot,  by  proceeding 
from  Frankfort  to  Spires,  in  order  that  he  might  take  into  consideration 
how  much  still  remained  to  be  put  in  order  in  his  own  empire.  But 
St.  Bernard  would  not  quit  him ;  he  followed  him  to  Spires,  and  there  it 
was  that  Conrad,  in  the  middle  of  the  abbot's  address,  suddenly  arose, 
and,  with  tearful  eyes,  exclaimed,  "  I  acknowledge,  holy  father,  the 
great  goodness  that  God  has  shown  me,  and  will  no  longer  refuse,  but 
am  ready  to  serve  him ;  for  I  feel  urged  to  this  expedition  by  Himself." 

*  This  circumstance  is  recorded  by  a  contemporary  of  that  period  in  the  chronicle 
of  St.  Pantaleonis. 


St.  Bernard  immediately  decorated  him  with,  the  cross,  and  presented 
him  with  the  holy  banner  lying  upon  the  altar.  Frederick,  Conrad's 
nephew,  who  became  afterwards  the  first  emperor  of  that  name,  and 
even  the  old  Duke  Guelf,  who  had  become  reconciled  with  the  em- 
peror, both  took  the  cross  likewise,  and  a  great  army  was  assembled, 
which  numbered  70,000  warriors  alone.  But  in  all  human  enterprises, 
a  splendid  commencement  will  not  always  secure  a  successful  issue, 
and  so,  in  this  great  expedition,  nothing  but  misfortune  followed* 
In  the  year  1147,  whilst  the  army  was  encamped  near  Constanti- 
nople, on  the  banks  of  a  river,  in  order  to  refresh  themselves  from  the 
fatigues  of  the  march,  and  to  celebrate  the  festival  of  the  birth  of  St. 
Mary,  the  waters  so  swelled  in  the  night  by  a  sudden  rain,  that  the 
whole  camp  became  overflowed,  and  great  numbers  of  men  and  horses 
were  drowned.  And  again,  when  the  army  was  transported  across 
the  straits  to  Asia,  treacherous  guides  led  it  into  places  which  the 
Turks  had  previously  devastated;  the  provisions  they  carried  with 
them  were  soon  consumed,  and  the  cities  which  the  expedition 
passed  closed  their  gates  against  them.  Many  then  entreated  those 
upon  the  walls  for  bread,  and  showed  their  gold,  which  the  people 
first  let  down  ropes  to  possess  themselves  of,  giving  in  return  only 
as  much  as  they  pleased,  frequently  nothing  at  all,  or  only  a  little 
meal  mixed  with  lime.  Many  thousands,  consequently,  died  of 
hunger  and  disease,  and  still  more  were  destroyed  by  the  cimeters 
of  the  Turkish  horsemen,  who  allowed  the  Germans  no  repose, 
either  by  night  or  day,  never  forming  for  a  regular  engagement 
with  them,  which  the  harassed  troops  so  heartily  desired.  Thus,  after 
a  thousand  dangers,  Conrad  arrived  in  the  Holy  Land  with  only 
the  tenth  part  of  his  army.  He  entered  Jerusalem  and  visited  the 
holy  spot  of  the  cross,  where  he  paid  his  worship;  but  these  were 
the  whole  fruits  of  this  crusade.  The  siege  of  Damascus  was  unsuc- 
cessful, and  the  French  army  was  equally  unfortunate.  Conrad  re- 
turned after  an  absence  of  two  years,  and  died  shortly  afterwards, 
in  the  year  1152,  at  Bamberg.  He  was  a  valiant,  high-minded,  and 
noble-hearted  man,  and  was  universally  esteemed.  He  recommended 
as  his  successor,  not  his  own  young  son,  Frederick,  whose  age  would 
not  as  yet  allow  him  to  rule  the  nation,  but  his  valiant  nephew, 
Frederick  Barbarossa,  Duke  of  Swabia,  who  had  made  the  crusade 
with  him,  and  who  was  unanimously  elected  at  Frankfort. 

Frederick  I.  was  one  of  the  most  powerful  of  all  the  German 
emperors ;  high-minded,  valiant,with  a  will  firm  as  iron,  and  of 
a  stern,  energetic  character.  His  very  form  displayed  his  lofty 
mind.  His  figure  was  manly  and  powerful ;  his  limbs  well  formed  and 
strong,  auburn  locks  covered  his  high  forehead,  and  beneath  them 
sparkled  his  sharp  and  piercing  eyes.  His  chin,  according  to  the  an- 
cient custom,  was  covered  with  his  beard,  which  being  of  a  bright  yel- 
low, he  thence  derived  his  surname  of  Barbarossa.  A  youthful  rud- 
diness of  complexion  and  natural  affability  gave  to  his  countenance  that 
cheerful  expression  which  attracts  all  hearts;  but  his  firm,  proud  step, 


and  the  whole  bearing  of  his  presence,  displayed  the  prince  born  to 
rule  and  command. 

Already,  even  as  a  youth,  he  had  performed  deeds  which  an- 
nounced the  great  man;  besides  which,  he  belonged  to  the  Ghibe- 
lins  on  the  paternal,  and  to  the  Guelfs  on  the  maternal  side.  It 
was  hoped  that  he  would  cause  the  rivalship  of  both  houses  to  be 
forgotten ;  and,  indeed,  one  of  his  first  acts  in  Germany  was  in  fa- 
vour of  the  Guelfic  house.  For,  in  the  year  1154,  he  re-granted 
the  duchy  of  Bavaria  to  Henry  the  Lion,  the  son  of  Henry  the 
Proud,  so  that  the  duke  again  possessed  Saxony  and  Bavaria  in  con- 
junction, by  which  means  he  became  the  most  powerful  prince  in  Ger- 
many. The  Margrave  Henry,  called  Jasomirgoth,  of  Austria,  who, 
after  his  brother  Leopold's  death,  had  become  Duke  of  Bavaria,  re- 
fused, indeed,  to  give  up  the  country;  but  in  1156,  Frederick  in- 
duced him  to  renounde  it,  and  compensated  him  by  giving  him  the 
old  Bavarian  Margraviate  of  Austria,  and  by  making  it  independent 
of  Bavaria,  and  raising  it  to  a  duchy,  he  presented  him  with  great 
rights  and  privileges.  The  duchy  was  to  be  hereditary,  not  only 
in  the  male,  but  also  in  the  female  line,  and  the  duke  was  to  rank 
with  the  first  imperial  nobles.*  He  was  only  required  to  be  invested 
in  his  own  land,  and  to  participate  in  the  expeditions  against  the 
Hungarians,  whilst,  without  his  sanction,  no  foreign  laws  were  avail- 
able in  Austria,  &c.  The  reconciliation  of  the  first  princely  houses 
in  Germany  caused  universal  satisfaction ;  and  Frederick  depended 
now  more  firmly  than  ever  upon  the  assistance  of  the  friend  of  his 
youth,  Henry  the  Lion,  for  the  execution  of  his  enterprises.  In  the 
other  affairs  of  the  empire  also,  the  new  emperor  exerted  himself 
with  vigour;  he  destroyed  the  castles  of  the  freebooter-knights, 
whom  he  condemned  to  death;  and  proved  himself  to  be,  by  all  his 
acts,  a  protector  of  general  order,  and  of  the  rights  of  the  German  peo- 
ple. A  contemporary  historian  says,  therefore,  of  him:  "It  appeared 
as  if  he  gave  to  heaven  and  earth  a  new  and  more  peaceful  form." 

The  countries  bordering  upon  Germany  also  presented  him  with 
an  opportunity  to  give  to  the  imperial  name  additional  lustre.  In 
his  first  diet,  at  Merseburg,  in  1152,  he  decided  the  dispute  of  the 
two  Danish  princes,  Sven  and  Knud,  respecting  the  kingdom  of 
Denmark.  Knud  received  Zealand;  but  Sven  the  crown,  which 
Frederick  himself  placed  upon  his  head  ,and  for  which  the  Danish 
king  swore  allegiance  to  him.  This  also  King  Boleslaus,  of  Poland, 
was  obliged  to  renew,  and  whom  the  emperor  forced  thereto  by  an 
effective  campaign  in  Silesia.  He  gave  to  Duke  Wladislas,  of  Bo- 
hemia, on  account  of  his  faithful  adherence  in  this  Polish  campaign, 
the  title  of  king,  such  titles  the  emperor  alone  being  able  to  impart. 
King  Geisa,  of  Hungary,  renewed  his  allegiance,  and  fulfilled  his  duties 
as  vassal  in  Frederick's  second  Italian  expedition.  And  finally,  in 

*  "He  shall  rank  equal  with  the  ancient  Archiducibus,'"  stands  recorded  in  the  ori- 
ginal statute.  Thence,  from  this  expression,  originated  the  subsequent  title  of  Arch- 
duke of  Austria.  This  was  first  adopted  by  Frederick  III.  in  the  year  1453. 


Burgundy,  which  had  become  almost  estranged  from  the  Germanic 
empire,  Frederick  re-established  his  influence  by  his  own  mar- 
riage with  Beatrice,  the  heiress  of  High  Burgundy,  whereby  his 
house  acquired,  at  the  same  time,  this  portion  of  the  kingdom  of 
Burgundy.  All  the  Burgundian  nobles  did  homage  to  the  em- 
peror, and  thus  the  ancient  imperial  dignity  acquired  additional 
splendour  under  the  powerful  monarch  who  now  ruled  in  Germany. 

It  was  only  in  Italy,  the  ancient  seat  of  the  dominion  of  the 
world,  that  the  authority  of  the  emperor  had  declined ;  and  Frede- 
rick was  not  able  to  restore  it  entirely,  even  by  the  most  glo- 
rious battles.  The  large  towns  in  this  country,  since  the  weak 
government  of  Henry  IV.,  had  become  overbearing,  and  submitted 
with  great  repugnance  to  the  obedience  due  towards  their  superior 
feudal  sovereign;  above  all  the  rest,  the  opulent  city  of  Milan,  the 
capital  of  Lombardy,  was  the  most  arrogant  and  independent.  Milan, 
since  the  commencement  of  the  12th  century,  had,  by  the  vigour  and 
energy  of  its  inhabitants,  made  such  rapid  progress,  that  one  might 
almost  have  believed  that  ancient  Rome  had  transplanted  its  spirit 
thither.  It  subjected,  by  degrees,  several  of  the  neighbouring  cities, 
especially  Lodi  and  Como;  and,  at  the  same  time,  affected  to  treat  the 
commands  of  the  emperor  with  such  contempt,  that  an  imperial 
edict  which  Frederick  issued  in  the  year  1153,  had  even  its  seal  torn 
off,  and  was  trampled  under  foot.  Upon  this,  the  emperor,  in 
1154,  crossed  the  Alps,  and,  according  to  the  ancient  custom  of  the 
Longobardian  kings,  held  his  first  great  diet  in  the  Roncalian  plains, 
on  the  banks  of  the  river  Po ;  and  now  that  complaints  from  many 
other  places  were  urged  against  the  oppression  of  this  proud  city, 
which  even  refused  to  meet  or  reply  to  them,  his  anger  became  ex- 
cited, and  he  resolved  to  punish  it  severely.  He  did  not  venture 
this  time,  to  besiege  it,  as  he  was  not  prepared  for  such  an  important 
undertaking;  but  he  destroyed  several  of  its  adjacent  castles  and 
forts,  and  conquered  its  allied  cities,  Asti  and  Tortona. 

At  Pavia  he  caused  himself  to  be  crowned  King  of  Lombardy, 
and  then  rapidly  advanced  towards  Rome.  Here  dissension  existed 
between  the  pope  and  the  people,  who,  in  a  revolutionary  tumult, 
and  under  the  guidance  of  a  bold  monk,  Arnold  of  Brescia,  wished 
to  restore  the  ancient  Roman  republic.  Neither  of  the  parties  knew 
in  whose  favour  the  emperor  advanced.  Pope  Adrian  IV.  fled  to 
a  well-fortified  castle  called  Castellana,  but  soon  returned  to  the 
German  camp,  the  emperor  having  promised  him  safety.  Upon  his 
arrival,  Adrian  (who  had  originally  wandered  from  England,  his 
native  country,  as  a  beggar  boy,  and  had  eventually  raised  him- 
self to  the  papacy),  expected  that  Frederick  would  hold  his  stir- 
rup, as  his  predecessors  had  always  done;  as,  however,  he  did 
not  do  it,  the  cardinals  accompanying  the  pope  fled  hastily  back 
to  Castellana,  for  they  regarded  this  omission  as  a  bad  omen  of  the 
imperial  sentiments.  Adrian,  however,  descended  from  his  mule, 
and  placed  himself  upon  the  seat  prepared  for  him ;  and  now  Frede- 


rick  cast  himself  before  him,  and  kissed  his  feet.  The  pope  now 
acquired  fresh  courage,  and  charged  the  emperor  with  the  omission 
of  the  accustomed  mark  of  deference ;  and  the  latter,  who  sought  his 
glory  in  greater  things,  willingly  yielded  in  this  trifling  affair,  upon  his 
princes  assuring  him  that  the  Emperor  Lothaire  had  shown  a  similar 
sign  of  respect  to  Pope  Innocent  II.  The  ceremony  of  dismounting 
was  consequently  repeated  on  the  following  day,  when  the  emperor  met 
the  pope  and  held  his  stirrup — thus  it  is  related  by  the  records  of 
Rome.  German  writers,  on  the  contrary — namely,  Otho  of  Freis- 
singen,  and  Helmold,  inform  us  that  the  emperor,  upon  the  first 
descending  of  the  pope,  had  held  the  stirrup,  but,  from  oversight,  had 
seized  the  left  instead  of  the  right,  and  that  the  pope,  in  consequence, 
had  refused  him  the  kiss  of  peace.  Upon  the  excuse  of  the  emperor, 
that  he  had  erred  through  ignorance,  as  he  had  not  applied  much 
attention  to  stirrup-holding,  the  pope  replied:  "If  the  emperor 
neglects  trifles  from  ignorance,  how  will  he  show  attention  in  im- 
portant affairs  ?''  The  emperor,  however,  at  the  entreaty  of  the 
princes,  yielded,  and  they  both  embraced  each  other  as  friends. 

After  this,  Frederick  went  to  Rome,  and  was  crowned  emperor 
in  St.  Peter's  church,  on  the  18th  of  June,  1155.  Meantime,  a 
dispute  ensued  with  the  Romans,  who  would  yield  neither  to  the 
pope  or  the  emperor;  the  force  of  arms,  however,  soon  reduced 
them  to  tranquillity. 

In  spite  of  these  continual  contests,  however,  with  the  perfidious 
and  treacherous  Italians,  Frederick  returned  at  length  to  Germany. 
But  disputes  speedily  arose  between  him  and  the  pope  himself,  who, 
confiding  in  the  assistance  of  the  Norman  king,  William  of  Naples  and 
Sicily,  wrote  to  the  emperor  a  letter  full  of  reproaches,  and  his 
legate,  Cardinal  Roland  (afterwards  Pope  Alexander  III.),  uttered 
even  in  the  assembly  of  the  German  princes,  the  arrogant  words: 
"  From  whom,  then,  has  the  emperor  the  empire,  if  not  from  the 
pope?"  The  irritated  Count  Palatine,  Otho  of  Wittelsbach,  whose 
office  it  was  to  bear  the  naked  sword  before  the  emperor,  upon  hear- 
ing this  raised  the  weapon,  and  was  about  to  sunder  the  legate's  head, 
for  he  considered  the  honour  of  the  German  princes  deeply  wounded 
by  this  language.  Frederick,  however,  withheld  him  from  this  des- 
perate act  of  indignation;  but  he  commanded  the  ambassador  to  return 
early  on  the  following  morning  to  Rome.  The  German  bishops,  in 
reply  to  the  reproaches  of  the  pope,  stated,  that  they  had  given  them- 
selves every  possible  trouble  to  mediate,  but  that  the  emperor  had  re- 
plied to  them,  firmly  and  gravely,  thus:  "  There  are  two  regulations, 
according  to  which  our  empire  must  be  ruled — the  laws  of  the  em- 
perors, and  the  good  customs  of  our  forefathers ;  these  limits  we  will 
not,  nor  can  we  transgress.  To  our  father,  the  pope,  we  will  wil- 
lingly pay  all  the  homage  we  owe  him;  but  our  imperial  crown 
is  independent,  and  we  ascribe  its  possession  to  divine  goodness 
only."  They  then  earnestly  entreated  the  holy  father  no  longer  to 
excite  the  anger  of  their  lord  the  emperor. 


The  dispute  between  the  emperor  and  the  pope,  after  a  short 
reconciliation,  was,  nevertheless,  resumed,  and  lasted  until  the  death 
of  Adrian,  in  1159.  Thenceforward,  affairs  became  still  more  en- 
tangled, for  the  imperial  party  chose  Victor  III.,  and  the  opposite 
party  Alexander  III.,  the  same  who,  as  cardinal  legate,  had  uttered 
such  bold  words  in  the  imperial  assembly.  Each  pope  excommuni- 
cated the  other,  and  sought  to  strengthen  each  other's  party  by  all 
possible  means. 

The  Emperor  Frederick,  as  early  as  the  year  1158,  had  already 
prepared  another  more  powerful  expedition  against  Italy;  the  Mi- 
lanese having  in  the  preceding  year,  reduced  to  ashes  the  city  of  Lodi, 
which  had  yielded  allegiance  to  the  emperor.  All  the  princes  of  Ger- 
many, as  well  as  the  king  of  Hungary  and  the  newly-elected  King  of 
Bohemia,  performed  feudal  service ;  by  which  means  such  an  army  was 
collected  as  no  emperor  had  previously  led  into  Italy :  consisting  of 
100,000  infantry  and  15,000  cavalry.  They  broke  up  their  camp,  near 
Augsburg  at  Whitsuntide,  and  crossed  the  Alps.  Almost  all  the  cities 
of  Northern  Italy  were  humbled  at  the  view  of  such  a  powerful  force, 
and  allied  themselves  with  the  emperor;  but  the  rebellious  city  of  Milan 
was  declared  outlawed,  and,  after  a  short  siege,  was  obliged  to  sub- 
mit to  the  irritated  ruler.  The  Milanese  appeared  now  before  him, 
in  humble  supplication,  forming  a  procession  unusual  to  the  Germans. 
First  came  both  ecclesiastics  and  laymen  barefooted,  and  dressed  in 
tattered  garments,  the  former  holding  up  crosses  in  the  air ;  then  fol- 
io wed  the  consuls  and  patricians  with  swords  hanging  from  their  necks, 
and  the  rest  with  cords  round  their  throats;  and  thus  humbly  they  fell  at 
the  feet  of  the  emperor.  As  he  therefore  only  desired  their  submission, 
he  pardoned  them,  saying:  "  You  must  now  acknowledge  that  it  is 
easier  to  conquer  by  obedience  than  with  arms."  Upon  which,  he 
caused  them  to  swear  allegiance,  and  to  promise  that  they  would  not 
interrupt  the  freedom  of  the  smaller  cities ;  and  taking  with  him  three 
hundred  hostages,  he  placed  the  imperial  eagle  upon  the  spire  of  the 

But  their  humility  was  only  feigned,  and  the  effect  of  necessity; 
lasting  only  so  long  as  the  power  of  the  emperor  terrified  them. 
For  when,  according  to  the  imperial  prerogative,  he  wished,  in  the 
following  year,  to  appoint  the  civil  functionaries,  the  citizens  attacked 
Raynald,  his  chancellor,  the  count  palatine,  Otho,  and  the  other 
ambassadors,  with  so  much  fury  that  they  could  scarcely  save  their 
lives.  Upon  being  summoned,  and  an  explanation  demanded,  they 
pleaded  nothing  but  empty  excuses;  and  at  the  second  and  third 
summons  they  did  not  appear  at  all.  Upon  which  the  emperor  renewed 
the  imperial  edict  of  outlawry  against  Milan,  and  vowed,  in  his 
wrath,  never  to  replace  the  crown  upon  his  head  until  he  had  de- 
stroyed the  arrogant  city. 

The  war  recommenced  with  all  the  bitter  exasperation  of  that  pe- 
riod. The  Milanese  sought  even  their  salvation — such  at  least  was 
the  universal  charge — in  the  assassination  of  the  powerful  emperor 


who  thus  menaced  them.  It  is  quite  certain  that  a  man  of  gigantic 
strength  suddenly  attacked  the  emperor  whilst  performing  his  morning 
devotions  in  a  beautiful  and  solitary  spot  upon  the  Ada,  and  strove 
to  throw  him  into  the  river.  In  the  struggle  both  fell  to  the  earth, 
and,  upon  the  call  of  the  emperor,  his  attendants  rushed  forward, 
and  the  assassin  was  himself  cast  into  the  stream.  Shortly  after  this 
an  old  mis-shapen,  squinting  man  glided  into  the  camp  with  poisoned 
wares,  the  very  touch  of  which  was  said  to  be  mortal.  The  emperor 
being  fortunately  already  warned,  caused  him  to  be  seized  and  exe- 
cuted. His  army,  meanwhile,  had  become  much  strengthened,  and 
with  it  he  first  besieged,  in  1160,  the  city  of  Cremona,  which  was 
in  alliance  with  Milan,  and  had  obstinately  refused  submission ;  the 
inhabitants  defended  themselves  for  seven  months  with  unexampled 
obstinacy,  when  they  were  at  length  obliged  to  yield.  The  city  was 
razed  to  the  ground,  and  the  inhabitants  were  obliged  to  wander  to 
other  places. 

It  was  only  after  a  three  years'  siege,  and  after  much  blood  had 
been  spilt  on  both  sides,  that  Frederick  overcame  the  strong  city 
of  Milan.  His  patience  was  exhausted;  the  pardon  he  had  once 
granted  having  only  made  the  rash  citizens  more  arrogant,  he  re- 
solved therefore,  by  a  severe  punishment,  to  destroy  their  spirit  of 
resistance.  During  three  days,  the  1st,  3d,  and  6th  of  March, 
the  consuls  and  chief  men  of  the  city,  in  increasing  numbers,  ad- 
vanced to  the  imperial  camp  before  Lodi,  and  on  the  third  day,  the 
whole  people  with  them ;  they  divided  themselves  into  a  hundred 
sections,  and  repeated  thrice  before  that  city,  which  had  been  so 
despised  and  ill-treated  by  them,  the  whole  spectacle  of  their  humili- 
ation ;  with  crosses,  swords,  and  ropes  hanging  about  the  neck,  and 
barefooted.  More  than  a  hundred  banners  of  the  city  were,  upon  the 
third  day,  laid  down  before  the  imperial  throne,  and,  lastly,  their  chief 
banner,  the  CAROCIUM,*  was  drawn  forward.  Its  lofty  frame  or 
tree,  with  its  iron  leaves,  was  bowed  down  before  the  emperor  as  a  sign 
of  the  deepest  humiliation;  the  princes  and  bishops,  seated  near  him, 
sprang  up,  in  dread  of  being  killed  by  the  weighty  mass,  but  Frederick 
remained  unmoved  and  tore  the  fringe  of  the  banner  down.  The  whole 
of  the  people  then  cast  themselves  to  the  ground,  with  loud  wailings, 
and  implored  mercy.  The  consuls  and  grandees  of  the  city,  and  even 
the  nobles  of  the  emperor's  suite,  all  supplicated  his  pardon  for  the 
capital,  but  the  emperor  remained  inexorable,  and  desired  his  chan- 
cellor, Raynald,  to  read  the  law,  whereby  the  city  surrendered  itself 
at  discretion.  He  then  said :  "  According  to  that  law  you  have  all  me- 
rited death,  but  I  will  grant  you  your  lives.  As  regards  the  fate  of  the 
city  itself,  I  will  so  order  it,  that  in  future  you  shall  be  prevented  from 

*  Upon  a  car  strengthened  with  iron,  a  massive  iron  tree  with  iron  leaves  was 
fixed;  a  large  cross  adorned  the  top  of  the  tree,  in  front  of  which  was  represented  the 
holy  Ambrosius,  Milan's  tutelary  saint.  The  colour  of  the  car  was  red,  and  the 
eight  oxen  which  drew  it,  were  also  covered  with  red  drapery.  Before  it  was 
drawn  away,  high  mass  was  celebrated  on  the  car;  the  whole  being  an  imitation  of 
the  ark  of  the  Israelites. 


committing  similar  crimes  therein."  Upon  which  he  retired  to  Pavia, 
to  decide  upon  the  fate  of  Milan  in  a  large  assembly  of  German  and 
Italian  bishops,  lords,  and  deputies  from  the  various  other  cities. 

The  sentence  was,  "  that  Milan  should  be  levelled  with  the  ground, 
and  the  inhabitants  remove,  within  eight  days,  to  four  of  their  vil- 
lages, two  miles  from  each  other,  where  they  should  live  under  the 
surveillance  of  the  imperial  functionaries."  The  city  of  Milan  in  its 
prosperity  and  arrogance,  had  so  deeply  injured  many  other  cities: 
Cosmo,  Lodi,  Cremona,  Pavia,  Verrelli,  Novarra,  and  others,  that  they 
all  begged,  as  an  especial  favour,  that  they  might  themselves  pull 
down  the  walls  of  the  proud  capital ;  so  that,  by  the  impulse  of  their 
hatred  and  revenge,  they  accomplished  within  six  days  what  hired 
workmen  would  scarcely  have  executed  in  so  many  months :  for,  al- 
though the  houses  and  churches  were  not  pulled  down,  as  later  exagge- 
rated records  report,  yet,  the  powerful  walls  and  forts  of  the  city  were 
destroyed,  the  ditches  filled  up,  and  this  once  wealthy  and  splendid 
city,  after  the  expulsion  of  the  moaning  inhabitants,  became  one  dread* 
ful  scene  of  waste  and  desolation.*  The  emperor  then,  at  a  splendid  ban- 
quet at  Pavia,  in  the  Easter  festival,  replaced  his  crown  upon  his  head. 

But  Frederick  was  doomed  to  show  to  the  world,  by  his  example, 
that  a  change  of  fortune  must  ever  produce  its  influence  upon  the 
most  powerful  monarchs,  and  that  no  force  can  check  it  but  wisdom 
and  moderation.  The  punishment  of  the  city  of  Milan  had  been 
too  severe,  and  if  this  may  even  be  excused  perhaps  by  the  rude- 
ness and  strong  passions  of  that  period,  still  Frederick  erred  in  not 
having  treated  that  and  the  other  cities  of  the  north  of  Italy  with 
mildness,  and  according  to  the  laws  of  justice. 

His  deputies  severely  oppressed  the  country,  and  although,  per- 
haps, without  his  concurrence,  yet  he  did  not  sufficiently  attend  to 
the  complaints  which  were  made  to  him.  At  the  same  time  he  con- 
tinued the  contest  with  the  still-increasing  party  of  Pope  Alexander, 
and  acted  wrong  in  not  taking  advantage  of  the  death  of  his  own 
Pope,  Victor  III.,  to  reconcile  himself  with  the  former,  instead  of  con- 
firming the  election  of  another  rival  pope,  Pascal  III.  Frederick  did 
not  consider  that  his  opponents,  by  their  united  inspiration,  the  one 
for  civil  freedom  and  the  other  for  their  church-party,  derived  uncon- 
querable power.  The  cities  of  Lombardy  allied  themselves  still  more 
closely  together,  and  even  those  which  had  previously  been  the  enemies 
of  the  Milanese  became  disinclined  towards  the  emperor;  for,  now  that 
their  former  oppressors  were  cast  to  the  ground,  they  compassionated 
them.  But  the  most  dangerous  enemy  of  the  emperor  was  the  bold  and 
sagacious  Pope  Alexander,  who  had  succeeded,  after  a  two  years'  exile 
in  France,  to  gain  over  the  Romans  to  his  side ;  and  had  now  returned 
to  his  metropolis.  Consequently,  Frederick,  after  he  had  collected  a 
new  army,  and  had  settled  the  most  urgent  affairs  in  Northern  Italy, 

*  During  this  devastation  of  Milan,  many  relics  were  removed  from  the  deserted 
churches.  Among  the  rest,  the  Archbishop  Raynald  conveyed  the  bones  of  the  three 
kings  with  great  solemnity  across  the  Alps  to  the  city  of  Cologne,  and  the  King  of 
Bohemia  carried  with  him  the  candlesticks  of  the  temple  of  Jerusalem. 


marched,  in  1167,  to  Rome.  The  Romans  were  speedily  beaten  out 
of  the  field,  and  the  city  itself  besieged.  It  was  especially  around 
the  churches  that  the  severest  conflict  took  place,  for  they  were  de- 
fended like  fortresses;  and  it  was  in  the  heat  of  combat  that  the 
Germans,  having  cast  torches  into  the  church  of  St.  Mary,  situated 
close  to  St.  Peter's,  the  flames  reached  the  latter  edifice,  which,  in 
the  general  confusion,  was  taken  possession  of  by  the  Swabian  duke, 
Frederick.  Pope  Alexander,  seeing  that  the  Romans  commenced 
murmuring  at  his  obstinacy,  fled  secretly  from  the  city,  in  the  dress 
of  a  pilgrim.  He  was  seen  on  the  third  day  near  a  fountain,  not  far 
from  Circello,  whence  he  escaped  to  Benevento. 

Frederick,  however,  together  with  his  consort,  was  crowned  by 
his  pope,  Pascal,  on  the  first  of  August,  1167,  in  the  metropolitan 
church  of  Christendom.  But,  immediately  afterwards,  an  epidemic 
disease  broke  out  among  the  Germans,  of  so  terrific  a  nature  that  a 
great  portion  of  the  army  and  a  multitude  of  the  nobles  and  chief  men 
were  carried  off.  It  was  on  a  Wednesday,  in  August,  that  it  first  ap- 
peared ;  the  heat  had  long  been  excessive  and  overpowering ;  on  the 
morning  of  that  day  the  sun  was  bright,  after  which  rain  suddenly  fell, 
and  a  glowing  heat  succeeded;  whence  the  vapour  raised  caused  the 
sickness.  Men  died  so  suddenly,  that  often  those  who  were  perfectly 
well  in  the  morning  fell  dead  on  the  same  day  while  walking  in  the 
street,  and  many,  whilst  even  burying  the  dead,  fell  suddenly  with 
them  into  the  grave.  The  Archbishop  Raynald,  of  Cologne,  the 
emperor's  able  chancellor,  four  bishops,  and  eight  dukes,  and 
among  these  the  emperor's  cousin,  Frederick  of  Rothenberg,  and 
Guelf,  the  younger;  besides  many  thousands  of  noble  counts  and 
lords  who  were  numbered  among  the  dead.  The  people  everywhere 
exclaimed,  "  that  this  was  a  judgment  of  God  for  burning  St. 
Peter's  Church ! "  The  emperor  was  obliged  to  retire  to  Pavia,  and, 
in  the  following  spring,  he  was  forced,  with  only  a  few  companions, 
to  leave  Italy  like  a  fugitive,  secretly  and  disguised. 

The  cities,  however,  now  raised  their  heads.  They  had  already,  in 
that  very  year,  1167,  and  almost  under  the  very  eyes  of  the  emperor, 
whilst  he  lay  before  Rome,  concluded  a  formal  alliance  with  each 
other ;  they  even  ventured  to  re-conduct  the  Milanese  back  to  their 
ancient  city.  The  ditches,  walls,  and  towers  were  speedily  restored, 
and  every  one  laboured  to  re-construct  his  habitation.  For  the 
capital  had  been  so  large  and  strong  that,  in  its  destruction,  por- 
tions of  the  walls,  most  of  the  houses,  and  almost  all  the  churches 
had  remained  standing.  Thus,  as  Athens  once,  after  its  destruc- 
tion by  the  Persians,  so,  also,  Milan  now  raised  itself  by  the  aid  of 
the  other  cities,  more  extensive  and  powerful  than  before.  After 
this  was  done,  the  Lombard  confederation  built  a  new  city,  as  an  im- 
pregnable fortress  against  the  emperor,  in  a  beautiful  and  fertile  spot 
surrounded  by  three  rivers  and  deep  marshes,  and  called  it,  in 
defiance  of  the  emperor,  and  in  honour  of  their  pope,  Alexandria, 
In  the  space  of  a  year  this  city  became  inhabited,  and  garrisoned  by 



15,000  warriors.  The  most  powerful  cities  participated  in  the  Lom- 
bard confederation:  Venice,  Milan,  Verona,  Vicenza,  Padua,  Fer- 
rara,  Brescia,  Cremona,  Placenza,  Parma,  Modena,  Bologna,  &c. 

Frederick,  meanwhile,  was  not  inactive  in  Germany;  he  remained 
there  stationary,  nearly  seven  years ;  established  more  firmly  the  im- 
perial dignity  with  all  the  strength  of  his  high  mind;  regulated  and  ad- 
justed internal  disturbances,  and,  in  particular,  the  great  dispute  in  the 
north  of  Germany  between  Henry  the  Lion  and  his  adversaries — upon 
which  subject  we  shall  enlarge  as  we  proceed — and  at  the  same  time 
augmented  the  power  of  his  house  by  various  just  and  legitimate  acqui- 
sitions for  his  five  sons,  still  very  young.  Henry,  the  eldest,  although 
only  15  years  of  age,  was  elected  King  of  the  Romans;  Frederick 
received  the  duchy  of  Swabia  and  the  lands  of  Guelf,  the  elder,  who 
had  bequeathed  them,  after  the  death  of  his  only  son,  to  the  em- 
peror, an  example  followed  by  many  other  counts  and  nobles  in 
Swabia.  Conrad,  the  third  son,  inherited  the  lands  of  the  Duke  of 
Rothenberg,  who  died  childless.  To  the  fourth  son,  Otho,  Frede- 
rick gave  the  vice-regency  of  Burgundy  and  Aries ;  and  to  the  young- 
est, Phillip,  who  still  lay  in  the  cradle,  he  presented  several  confis- 
cated crown  possessions  and  clerical  feods.  Thus  the  race  of  the 
Hohenstaufens  stood  firmly  rooted  like  a  vigorous  and  richly-branched 
tree  of  majestic  oak. 

But  now  Frederick  again  directed  his  attention  to  that  still  revolu- 
tionary country,  Italy.  The  German  princes  were  now,  it  is  true, 
less  easily  induced  to  proceed  to  that  intractable  unhealthy  climate, 
but,  by  his  persuasive  eloquence  and  unwearied  activity,  he  at  length 
succeeded  in  again  collecting  an  army,  and  appeared,  in  the  autumn 
of  1174,  for  the  fifth  time,  in  that  land.  He  besieged  the  new 
city  of  Alexandria,  which  had  been  built  and  fortified  in  order  to 
check  his  course ;  and  he  was  forced  to  remain  seven  months  before 
it,  during  which  his  army  suffered  greatly  in  the  winter  from  sick- 
ness and  fatigue,  in  their  camp,  pitched  upon  marshy  ground. 
Meanwhile  the  Lombard  cities  had  collected  an  army  to  relieve  the 
besieged,  and  which  advanced  at  Easter,  in  1175.  fully  prepared  and 
equipped.  The  emperor  resolved  upon  making  a  last  attack  against 
the  place,  and  caused  it  to  be  stormed  on  the  Thursday  before  Easter. 
The  Germans,  by  means  of  a  subterraneous  passage,  succeeded  in 
advancing  into  the  very  heart  of  the  city,  as  far  as  the  middle  of  the 
market  place.  Nevertheless  the  valiant  garrison  did  not  lose  courage, 
and,  to  their  great  good  fortune,  this  subterraneous  passage  fell  in. 
Those  of  their  enemy,  who  had  thus  entered  the  city,  were  over- 
powered, and  the  rest  who  were  storming  from  without  were  beaten 
back.  The  emperor  was  therefore  obliged  to  raise  the  siege,  and  to 
seek  so  hastily  a  different  position,  that  he  was  forced  to  set  fire  to 
his  own  encampment. 

It  was  then  agreed,  that  a  meeting  of  the  belligerent  parties 
should  take  place  at  Pavia,  in  order  to  conclude  a  treaty.  The  cardi- 
nal of  Ostia,  who  appeared  in  the  name  of  the  pope,  would  not 


greet  the  emperor  on  account  of  the  excommunication,  but  he  evinced 
to  him  his  regret,  whilst  he  expressed  his  admiration  of  Frederick's 
great  qualities.  Both  sides  were,  however,  but  little  inclined  to 
yield  in  any  portion  of  their  demands.  What  tended  much  to  increase 
the  courage  of  the  Lombards  was,  that  precisely  at  this  moment, 
Henry  the  Lion  refused  the  emperor  that  assistance,  upon  which 
Frederick  had  so  much  relied.  The  treaties  were,  consequently, 
"broken  off,  and  the  Lombards,  taking  advantage  of  this  favourable 
moment,  advanced,  under  the  protection  of  the  grand  and  sacred 
banner  of  St.  Ambrose,  against  the  emperor,  and  fought  the  deci- 
sive battle  of  Lignano,  on  the  29th  of  May,  1176.  Their  force  was 
far  superior  in  numbers,  and  occupied  a  favourable  position ;  whilst 
on  one  side  they  were  flanked  by  a  ditch  which  made  all  flight  im- 
possible. When  they  saw  that  the  emperor  had  accepted  their  chal- 
lenge, and  now  advanced  against  them,  they  immediately  formed 
their  line  of  battle.  The  Carocium  of  the  Milanese,  was  placed  in 
their  centre,  surrounded  by  300  youths  who  had  sworn  to  defend  it 
in  life  unto  death,  besides  a  body  of  900  picked  cavalry,  styled  the 
phalanx  of  death,  who  had,  singly  and  collectively,  likewise  taken  the 
oath  of  imolation.  The  battle  commenced,  and  one  of  the  Lombard 
wings  beginning  very  soon  to  waver,  the  order  of  the  Milanese  ranks 
became  confused.  The  emperor  pressed  directly  upon  the  centre,  to 
gain  the  Carocium,  and,  as  now  its  band  of  defenders  likewise  fal- 
tered, the  courage  of  the  Germans  increased,  and  at  length  they  con- 
quered the  sacred  banner,  and  tore  down  all  its  decorations.  But  at 
this  moment  the  death-squadron  recovered  themselves,  and  again  re- 
turned to  the  charge.  Mortally  wounded,  the  emperor's  standard- 
bearer  now  sank  at  his  side,  and  the  imperial  banner  with  him ;  but 
the  brave  Frederick,  equipped  in  his  splendid  suit  of  armour,  still 
fought  on  at  the  head  of  his  warriors.  Suddenly,  however,  he  was 
seen  to  fall  from  his  charger,  and  vanish  from  the  view  of  the  army. 
Terror  and  confusion  now  seized  upon  all,  and  Frederick's  troops  suf- 
ferred  an  entire  overthrow;  he  himself  escaped  with  a-  few  faithful 
friends  in  the  wild  tumult,  and  under  the  protection  of  the  night. 
Almost  all  the  citizens  of  Como,  his  allies,  embittered  by  hatred  and 
revenge  against  the  Milanese  on  account  of  their  ancient  wars,  fell 
a  sacrifice  and  were  left  dead  upon  the  field.  For  two  whole  days 
the  emperor  was  mourned  as  slain,  and  even  his  consort  put  on  a 
widow's  robes;  when,  to  the  unexpected  joy  of  all,  he  again  ap- 
peared in  Pavia. 

After  this  the  Emperor  wished  and  proposed  a  peace ;  when  the 
Pope,  Alexander,  said  in  reply:  "  That  nothing  was  more  desirable 
to  him  than  to  obtain  peace  from  the  greatest  hero  of  Christendom ; 
he  entreated  only,  that  the  Lombards  might  participate  in  it,  and 
he  himself  would  proceed  to  that  country."  The  two  great  opponents 
had  now  learnt  mutually  to  esteem  each  other,  and  Frederick  having 
expressed  a  wish  for  an  interview  with  the  pope,  the  latter  proceeded  at 
once  to  Venice.  His  journey  thither  resembled  a  triumphal  procession, 

Q  2 


for  lie  was  treated  as  the  saviour  of  liberty,  and  as  the  father  of  the 
Italian  free-states.  Frederick  also  came  there  in  July,  1177,  and, 
according  to  an  ancient  historian:  "  It  pleased  God  so  to  guide  his 
heart  that  he  suddenly  subjected  the  lion-like  pride  of  his  mind,  and 
he  became  mild  and  gentle  as  a  lamb,  so  that  he  cast  himself  at  the 
feet  of  the  pope,  who  awaited  him  at  the  entrance  of  the  church 
of  St.  Mark,  and  kissed  them;  and  the  pope,  with  tears,  raised  him 
from  the  ground,  and  gave  him  the  kiss  of  peace,  at  which  the 
Germans  exclaimed :  '  Lord  God  we  praise  thee ! '  The  emperor 
then  took  the  pope  by  the  hand  and  led  him  into  the  church,  where 
he  bestowed  upon  him  his  benediction.  On  the  following  day, 
however,  at  the  express  desire  of  the  emperor,  the  pope  celebrated 
high  mass,  and  Frederick,  after  he  had  himself,  like  an  inferior  of 
the  church,  humbly  cleared  the  way  for  the  pope  through  the  crowd, 
took  his  place  amidst  the  train  of  the  German  archbishops  and 
bishops,  and  devoutly  assisted  in  the  holy  ceremony." 

Thus,  in  those  days,  did  mild,  religious  feelings  moderate  the 
severe  and  stern  disposition  of  the  emperor,  without  at  all  affecting 
the  majesty  of  his  presence,  for  his  humility  was  voluntary,  and 
thence  acquired  for  him  general  esteem ;  whilst  at  the  same  time  his 
conduct  was  sincere,  and  consequently  his  reconciliation  with  the 
pope  was  complete  and  lasting.  But  with  the  Lombards,  as  all  the 
articles  of  the  treaty  could  not  be  immediately  settled,  a  truce  of  six 
.years  was  concluded.  All  rights  and  customs  were  to  be  investi- 
gated ;  the  demands  of  both  sides  equally  weighed ;  and  the  relations 
of  the  Italian  cities  with  the  emperor  and  empire  arranged  afresh :  all 
which  demanded  time. 

In  1 178  the  emperor  proceeded  to  Aries,  where  he  was  crowned  king 
of  Burgundy,  and  thence  returned  to  Germany,  where  another  import- 
ant affair  awaited  his  presence.  Whilst  on  the  one  hand  the  house  of 
Hohenstaufen  possessed  at  this  period,  in  the  person  of  its  emperor,  a 
powerful  and  high-minded  chief,  the  house  of  Guelf  enjoyed,  on  the 
other,  an  equal  advantage  in  Henry  the  Lion,  Duke  of  Bavaria  and  Sax- 
ony. For,  whilst  Frederick,  in  the  south,  conducted  his  great  wars 
against  the  Italian  cities,  Henry  increased  his  power  in  the  north  by  a 
successful  war  against  the  Vandals.  Henry  resembled  the  friend  of  his 
youth,  Frederick,  in  valour,  firmness,  and  chivalric  sentiments.  His 
outward  appearance  was  also  distinguished,  and  his  powerful  figure, 
strengthened  by  every  corporeal  exercise,  displayed  the  bold  courage 
of  his  mind.  Yet,  whilst  Frederick,  in  his  hair  and  complexion,  bore 
the  true  impress  of  genuine  German  origin,  Henry,  on  his  part, 
presented  in  his  whole  appearance  the  evidence  of  his  connexion 
with  the  southern  race  of  the  Guelfs;  his  complexion  being  darker, 
his  hair  and  beard  black,  and  his  eyes  the  same  colour.  His  name 
soon  became  terrible  in  the  northern  districts.  He  conquered  a  great 
portion  of  Holstein  and  Mecklenburg,  as  far  as  Pomerania,  and 
populated  the  country,  as  Albert  the  Bear  had  done  previously  in 
.the  marches,  with  peasants  from  Brabant,  Flanders,  and  Germany. 


He  founded  bishoprics  and  schools ;  distributed  throughout  these  coun- 
tries criminal  courts  and  judges;  transformed  forests  and  marshes  into 
fruitful  fields;  and,  whilst  he  increased  his  own  power,  he  became  the 
promoter  cf  civilization  in  the  north  of  Germany.  Liibeck,  founded  in 
1140,  and  made  theseeof  a  bishop,  soon  developed  itself  and  nourished 
nobly ;  and  Hamburg,  previously  destroyed  by  the  Vandals,  was  again 
restored.     Thus  his  extensive  possessions  extended  from  the  shores  of 
the  Baltic  and  the  North  Sea,  as  far  as  the  Danube  in  the  southern 
mountains,  and  were  more  considerable  than  the  absolute  dominions  of 
the  emperor;  whilst,  finally,  he  founded,  in  1157,  Munich,  in  Bavaria. 
The  object  of  Henry  was  to  unite  his  two  duchies  under  one  entire 
political  government,  and  thus  to  restrict  throughout  his  territories 
as  much  as  possible,  the  rights  of  the  nobles,  both  temporal  and  spi- 
ritual.    At  the  same  time,  in  so  doing  he  laid  himself  open  to  the 
reproach  of  injustice;  as,  for  instance,  in  the  case  of  Count  Adol- 
phus  III.,  of  Holstein.     This  nobleman  had  laboured  greatly  to  ad- 
vance the  prosperity  of  his  country,  and  having,  amongst  the  rest, 
established  some  valuable  salt  works  at  Oldesloe,  Henry  now  de- 
stroyed them  by  causing  fresh  water  from  neighbouring  springs  to 
flow  into  them,  because  his  own  salt  works  at  Llineburg  were,  as  he 
thought,  injured  by  the  existence  of  those  of  Count  Adolphus. 

The  jealousy  of  the  neighbouring  German  princes  having  now 
become  excited  against  him,  ho,  as  a  warning  to  them,  caused  a  large 
lion,  cast  in  bronze,  to  be  placed  before  his  castle  in  Brunswick. 
They  understood  what  by  this  sign  he  meant  to  indicate,  but  although 
they  trembled  individually,  they  nevertheless  tried  once  more  to  put 
a  stop  to  his  rapid  progress  by  a  great  alliance,  in  which  were  in- 
cluded: the  Archbishops  of  Cologne,  Bremen,  and  Magdeburg;  the 
Bishops  of  Hildesheim,  and  Liibeck,  the  Landgrave  of  Thuringia, 
and  the  Margrave  of  Brandenburg,  with  several  counts  and  knights. 
But  Henry,  sudden  as  the  royal  animal  whose  title  he  had  chosen, 
broke  loose,  re-conquered  Bremen,  devastated  Thuringia  and  the 
archbishopric  of  Magdeburg  with  fire  and  sword,  drove  away  Con- 
rad, bishop  of  Liibeck,  and  thus  overcame  and  crushed  his  enemies 
completely.  Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  in  Germany  when  the 
Emperor  Frederick  returned  from  Italy,  in  1168 ;  his  presence,  how- 
ever, restored  tranquillity  once  more,  and  both  parties  were  obliged 
to  surrender  to  each  other  their  conquests. 

The  noble  Guelf,  to  whom  repose  was  hateful,  made  now,  in  1172, 
a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land,  but,  upon  his  return,  disputes  were 
renewed,  and  he  this  time  drew  upon  himself,  in  the  person  of  the 
emperor,  a  far  more  powerful  opponent.  The  latter,  who  had  been 
hitherto  his  constant  friend,  and,  in  a  series  of  years,  had  shown  him 
nothing  but  kindness,  considered  he  might  with  justice  calculate 
especially  upon  him  when,  after  raising  the  siege  of  Alexandria,  in  the 
year  1175,  he  collected  all  his  forces  together,  in  order  to  come  to  a 
decisive  and  final  engagement  with  the  Lombards.  But  it  was  just 
in  that  critical  moment  that  Henry,  to  whom  these  distant  expedi- 


tions  were  highly  objectionable,  and  who  preferred  remaining  at  home 
with  his  army,  for  the  purpose  of  increasing  his  own  power,  refused  his 
assistance.  He  pleaded  his  age,  although  he  was  only  forty-six  years 
old,  'and  thus  younger  than  the  emperor  himself;  pretending  that  too 
many  necessary  affairs  required  his  presence  in  his  own  country. 
Frederick  hoped,  however,  in  an  interview  with  him,  to  persuade  him 
to  change  his  mind,  and  invited  him  to  the  frontiers  of  Italy;  the 
duke  came,  and  the  two  rulers  met  at  Chiavenna,  on  the  Lake  of 
Como.  The  emperor  reminded  his  friend  of  their  alliance,  their 
close  relationship,  of  his  honour,  and  feudal  duty  as  prince;  but 
Henry  remained  inflexible.  The  emperor  then  arose  in  great  agita- 
tion, embraced  the  duke's  knees,  and  entreated  him  still  more 
earnestly — so  important  was  his  assistance  to  him  at  this  moment. 
Henry  was  moved,  and  endeavoured  to  raise  the  emperor,  but  did 
not  waver  in  his  determination.  The  empress  then  joined  them,  and 
said  to  her  husband :  "  Pray  rise,  my  dear  friend,  God  will  help  you  if, 
on  some  future  day,  you  do  but  punish  this  arrogance !"  The  emperor 
arose,  but  the  duke  retired;  and  it  was  to  his  absence  that  Frederick 
might  chiefly  impute  his  subsequent  bad  success  atLignano.  He  could 
not  forget  this  event,  and  upon  his  return  to  Germany,  after  the  peace 
of  Venice,  in  1178,  and  fresh  complaints  resounded  from  ah1  sides 
against  the  duke,  he  cited  him  to  appear  at  a  diet  at  Worms.  Henry 
did  not  however  attend.  He  was  summoned  a  second  time  to  Magde- 
burg; even  there  he  did  not  appear;  and,  as  he  equally  neglected  a  third 
and  a  fourth  summons,  at  Geslar  and  Wurzburg,  the  emperor  sat  in 
judgment  upon  him,  in  the  year  1180,  and  the  princes  confirmed  his 
deposal  from  all  his  dignities  and  fiefs,  as  his  punishment.  Fre- 
derick then  declared  him  outlawed,  and  divided  his  fiefs  among  other 
princes.  The  duchy  of  Saxony,  to  which  he  left  but  the  shadow  of 
preceding  greatness — for  he  had  himself  already  felt  the  danger  re- 
sulting from  too  extensive  duchies — he  awarded  to  the  second  son  of 
Albert  the  Bear,  Bernard  of  Anhalt.  The  duchy  in  the  western 
districts,  as  far  as  the  dioceses  of  Cologne  and  Paderborn,  comprising 
Limburg,  Arnsberg,  Westphalia,  Paderborn,  and  a  portion  of  Ra- 
vensberg,  he  gave  to  the  Archbishop  of  Cologne,  who,  however, 
only  succeeded  in  holding  possession  of  a  portion  of  these  countries. 
The  Bishops  of  Magdeburg,  Hildesheim,  Paderborn,  Bremen,  Ver- 
den,  and  Minden,  took  advantage  of  this  opportunity  to  make  them- 
selves not  only  independent  of  the  duchy,  but  also  to  increase  their 
possessions.  The  duchy  of  Bavaria,  which  was  also  somewhat  de- 
creased, was  given  to  the  valiant  Count  Palatine,  Otho  of  Wit- 
telsbach,  the  faithful  companion  of  the  emperor.  The  cities  of  Lii- 
beck  and  Ratisbon  became  free  imperial  cities,  and  in  Pomerania, 
which  was  now  united  with  the  empire,  Frederick  created  the  bro- 
thers, Casimir  and  Bogislaus,  dukes. 

After  the  emperor  had  passed  judgment  upon  Henry  his  enemies 
forthwith  took  up  arms,  to  possess  themselves  of  their  portion  of  the 
booty;  but  the  old  Lion  still  defended  himself  valiantly.  They  could 


accomplish  nothing  against  him,  and  were  repeatedly  beaten,  until 
Frederick  himself  advanced  with  an  army.  Their  reverence  for  the  im- 
perial name,  and  their  natural  repugnance  to  be  allied  with  an  outlaw, 
disarmed  the  duke's  friends ;  he  was  obliged  to  quit  his  patrimonial 
estates,  and  was  forced  to  see  Brunswick,  his  capital,  invested,  one 
of  his  chief  castles,  Bardewick,  taken;  and  finally,  when  the  powerful 
city  of  Liibeck  yielded  to  the  emperor,  he  found  himself  left  com- 
pletely without  any  protection,  even  behind  the  Elbe.  Driven,  at 
last,  to  extremities,  he  cast  himself  at  the  feet  of  the  emperor,  at 
the  diet  of  Erfurt,  held  in  the  year  1181.  The  humiliation  of  his 
old  friend  and  companion  in  arms,  whose  proud  soul  was  now  broken, 
drew  even  tears  of  sympathy  from  the  mighty  Frederick,  and  he  par- 
doned him.  He  counselled  him,  however,  in  order  that,  with  time, 
the  hatred  of  his  enemies  might  become  moderated,  to  absent  him- 
self for  three  years  from  Germany,  and  to  remain,  during  that  inter- 
val with  his  father-in-law,  Henry  II. ,  King  of  England;  meanwhile 
his  hereditary  lands,  Brunswick  and  Liineburg,  remained  in  his  pos- 
session. Thus  it  was  that,  as  it  were  by  a  singular  reverse  of  fate, 
the  duke  dwelt  as  an  exile  for  some  time  in  the  country  where  his 
descendants  were  subsequently  to  ascend  a  brilliant  throne ;  for  it  was 
there  that  his  consort,  Matilda,  gave  birth  to  the  same  William  who 
was  afterwards  the  chief  branch  of  the  house  of  Hanover  which  has 
placed  the  British  kings  upon  the  throne. 

This  great  example  of  imperial  superiority  in  Germany  may  pos- 
sibly have  worked  upon  the  minds  of  the  Italians;  and  as,  in  the 
following  year,  1183,  the  truce  of  six  years  with  the  Lombards 
ceased,  and  the  emperor,  besides,  showed  himself  a  merciful  ruler, 
they  evinced  a  more  satisfied  disposition,  and  the  peace  of  Kosnitz 
was  accordingly  signed  with  them,  which  henceforward  stood  as 
fundamental  law  between  the  emperor  and  upper  Italy.  The  em- 
peror himself  obtained  great  privileges :  he  had  the  right  to  appoint 
his  own  counts,  as  the  burgomasters  chosen  by  the  citizens,  and  to 
renew  their  dignity  every  five  years ;  he  exercised  the  supreme  judicial 
power,  whilst  he  derived,  besides,  several  imposts,  particularly  the 
subsidies  for  his  army  in  the  Italian  campaigns ;  and  all  the  citizens, 
from  the  age  of  15  to  70,  swore  allegiance  to  him.  Under  these 
conditions  the  citizens,  on  their  part,  received  the  right  of  municipal 
freedom  within  their  walls;  were  permitted  to  live  according  to  their 
own  manners  and  customs,  and  were  even  privileged  to  make  such 
new  regulations  as  they  deemed  just,  and  the  confederation  of  their 
cities,  already  existing,  was  now  confirmed. 

Thus  Frederick  was  enabled,  now  and  for  the  last  time,  (in  1184) 
to  proceed  to  Italy  in  a  state  of  peace,  and,  as  he  advanced,  he  was 
rendered  more  and  more  happy  in  witnessing  the  tranquillity  and 
contentment  that  reigned  throughout  the  land,  whilst  all  around  him 
was  in  a  fever  of  joy  and  delight.  The  Lombards  received  him  as 
if  no  enmity  had  ever  existed  between  them.  He  caused  the  iron 
crown  of  the  Lombards  to  be  placed  on  the  head  of  his  son  Henry, 


and  gave  him  away  in  marriage,  with  great  pomp  and  festivity,  at 
Milan,  in  1186.  (which  city  had  especially  begged  from  the  em- 
peror that  honour)  to  Constanza,  the  last  heiress  of  Naples  and 
Sicily  of  the  royal  Norman  race,  and  which  alliance  gave  the  house 
of  Hohenstaufen  new  and  high  expectations;  for,  being  already 
in  possession  of  Northern  Italy,  if  it  acquired  in  addition,  Lower 
Italy,  the  whole  peninsula  would  necessarily  soon  become  subject 
to  its  dominion,  and  its  subjection  would  accordingly  lead  to  that  of 
the  whole  of  Germany.  Such  were  the  projects  formed  by  the  old 
yet  youthfully-sanguine  emperor,  who  was  far  from  anticipating  that 
by  this  last,  and  apparently  splendid  achievement  of  his  glorious 
career  the  seeds  were  sown  for  the  fall  and  ruin  of  his  house. 

It  appeared  now  as  if  fate,  after  having  subjected  the  emperor  to 
all  its  storms,  had  determined  to  prepare  for  him,  in  his  venerable 
age,  the  glory  of  a  noble  death  in  a  sacred  cause ;  for,  at  this  mo- 
ment, intelligence  arrived  suddenly  in  Europe  that  Jerusalem,  after 
the  unfortunate  battle  of  Hittin,  or  Tiberiad,  in  1187,  was  again 
torn  from  the  Christians  by  Saladin,  the  Sultan  of  Egypt.  Pope 
Urban  III.  died  of  grief  at  this  news,  and  his  successors,  Gregory 
VIII.  and  Clement  III.  addressed  urgent  letters  to  the  European 
princes,  summoning  them  to  rise  and  march  forthwith  to  the  deliver- 
ance of  the  Holy  City;  consequently,  all  the  knights- templars  and  the 
knights  of  St.  John,  dispersed  throughout  Europe,  were  the  first  to 
embark;  the  Italians  assembled  together  under  the  Archbishops  of 
Ravenna  and  Pisa ;  the  Normans  furnished  all  their  forces ;  a  fleet  of 
fifty  vessels  from  Denmark  and  Friesland,  and  thirty-seven  from 
Flanders  set  sail,  headed  by  their  great  leaders :  Richard  Co3ur-de-lion, 
King  of  England,  Philip  Augustus,  of  France,  and  the  Emperor  Frede- 
rick Barbarossa,  together  with  all  the  neighbouring  kings  and  princes 
came  likewise  forward  with  their  whole  power  for  the  sacred  cause. 
Our  venerable  hero,  Frederick  Barbarossa,  advanced,  in  the  May  of 
the  year  1 189,  at  the  head  of  150,000  well  armed  combatants.  The 
Greeks,  who  seemed  disposed  to  practise  similar  treachery  towards 
him  as  they  had  against  Conrad  III.,  he  punished  severely,  and  dis- 
mantled their  cities.  The  Sultan  Kilidish  Arslan,  of  Cogni,  or  Ico- 
nium,  in  Asia  Minor,  who  had  offered  him  his  friendship,  and  after- 
wards betrayed  him,  he  attacked  and  put  to  flight,  taking  possession 
of  his  metropolis.  Thus,  in  all  these  battles  Frederick,  even  as  an  old 
man,  distinguished  himself  beyond  all  the  rest  by  his  heroic  vigour 
and  magnanimity,  and  he  succeeded  in  leading  his  army  through 
every  danger  as  far  as  the  frontiers  of  Syria,  but  here  ended  the 
term  of  his  noble  course.  When,  on  the  10th  of  June,  1190,  the 
army  resumed  its  march  from  Sileucia,  and  traversed  the  river 
Cydnus,  or  Seleph,  the  bold  and  venturesome  old  warrior,  to  whom 
the  passage  over  the  bridge  was  much  too  slow,  dashed  at  once  with 
his  war-horse  into  the  river,  in  order  thus  to  overtake  more  speedily 
his  son  Frederick,  who  led  the  van.  But  the  rapid  course  of  the 
stream  overpowered  and  bore  him  away,  and  when  at  length,  assist- 


ance  could  be  rendered  him,  the  veteran  was  found  already  dead. 
The  grief  and  lamentations  of  his  son,  of  the  princes,  and  of  the  whole 
army  were  indescribable.  Fate  nevertheless  had  by  this  means  saved 
him  from  experiencing  subsequently,  bitter  pain  and  mortification,  and 
his  noble  soul  was  not  doomed  to  suffer  by  the  unfortunate  termina- 
tion of  so  great  an  enterprise.  For  the  German  army,  after  his 
death,  was  almost  entirely  destroyed  by  sickness  before  the  city  of 
Antioch;  and  the  emperor's  second  son  Frederick,  Duke  of  Swabia, 
died  at  the  siege  of  Acre,  or  Ptolemais,  and  Jerusalem  was  never  re- 

The  grief  which  the  Emperor  Frederick's  death  excited  through- 
out the  west  of  Europe,  is  testified  by  a  French  writer  of  that 
period,  who,  according  to  his  peculiar  style,  thus  speaks  of  it: 
"  News  so  deadly  piercing,  even  to  the  very  marrow  and  bone,  has 
wounded  me  so  mortally,  that  all  hope  and  desire  of  life  have  passed 
from  me.  For  I  have  heard  that  that  immoveable  pillar  of  the  em- 
pire, Germany's  tower  of  strength  and  its  very  foundation,  and  that 
morning  star  which  surpassed  all  other  stars  in  splendour,  Frederick 
the  mighty,  has  ended  his  life  in  the  east.  Thus  no  longer  exists 
that  strong  lion,  whose  majestic  countenance  and  powerful  arm 
frightened  savage  animals  from  devastation,  subjected  rebels,  and 
made  robbers  live  in  peace  and  order."  And  the  degree  to  which 
the  imperial  dignity  in  general  was  raised  by  him,  is  expressed  in 
the  words  of  his  chancellor,  Raynald,  at  a  diet  at  Besancon,  where 
he  said,  "  Germany  possesses  an  emperor,  but  the  rest  of  Europe — 
only  petty  kings. 

*  This  siege  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  and  sanguinary  on  record.  Both  the 
Kings  of  England  and  France  were  present,  and  took  their  share  in  the  dangers. 
The  city  was  eventually  taken,  after  a  long  and  vigorous  resistance;  but  the  sword 
and  disease  had  combined  to  reduce  the  army  of  the  Crusaders  to  such  a  degree, 
that  it  was  in  vain  to  contemplate  any  fresh  enterprise.  Several  archbishops  and 
patriarchs,  twelve  bishops,  forty  dukes  and  counts,  five  hundred  of  the  principal  no- 
bility, together  with  a  great  number  of  knights,  and  an  innumerable  host  of  inferior 
officers  and  soldiers,  became  a  sacrifice.  Philip  Augustus  returned  speedily  to 
France;  but  Richard  of  England  remained,  and  continuing  on  the  war  with  the 
greatest  activity,  acquired  the  reputation  of  being  the  most  valiant  knight  of 
his  time;  whilst  Saladin  likewise  proved  himself  a  brave  and  shrewd  adversary. 
Richard,  however,  was  recalled  to  Europe,  through  the  dangers  which  threatened  his 
own  kingdom.  He  concluded  a  peace  with  the  sultan,  and  gave  up  to  him  Jerusa- 
lem; and  thus  nothing  more  remained  in  the  hands  of  the  Christians  than  a  narrow 
strip  of  land  along  the  coast  from  Jaffa  to  Acre. 



FROM  1190  TO  THE  INTERREGNUM,  1273. 

Henry  VI,  1190-1197 — His  Mercenary  and  Cruel  Character — Richard  I.  of  England 
— Is  Seized  and  Imprisoned  by  Henry — Naples  and  Sicily — The  Grandees — Their 
Barbarous  Treatment  by  the  Emperor — His  Death,  1197 — The  Rival  Sovereigns 
— Phillip  of  Swabia,  1197-1208,  and  Otho  IV.,  1197-1215 — Their  Death — Fre- 
derick II.,  1215-1250 — His  Noble  Qualities — Love  for  the  Arts  and  Sciences — His 
Sarcastic  Poetry — Preference  for  Italy — Disputes  with  the  Popes — Is  excommu- 
nicated—His Crusade  to  the  Holy  Land — Crowned  King  of  Jerusalem — Marries 
a  Princess  of;  England — Italy — Pope  Gregory  IX. — Frederick  denounced  and  de- 
posed—Dissensions in  Germany — The  Rival  Kings — Death  of  Frederick  II.,  1250 
— His  Extraordinary  Genius  and  Talents — His  Zeal  for  Science  and  Education — 
A  Glance  at  the  East  and  North-Eastern  Parts  of  Germany — Progress  in  Civili- 
sation— William  of  Holland,  1247-1256 — Conrad  IV.,  1250-1254 — Their  Deaths — 
The  Interregnum,  1256-1273 — Progress  of  the  Germanic  Constitution. 

FREDERICK'S  eldest  son,  Henry,  who,  during  his  father's  life 
was  named  his  successor,  and  in  whose  absence  he  nad  been  invested 
with  the  government  of  the  empire,  was  not  dissimilar  to  his  father 
in  the  power  of  his  mind,  in  chivalric  bearing,  and  in  grand  ideas 
and  plans,  but  his  disposition  was  extremely  partial  and  severe,  often 
cruel,  and  in  order  to  execute  great  ambitious  projects  he  betrayed 
feelings  of  a  very  mercenary  nature.  This  was  displayed  in  an  oc- 
currence which  has  not  done  him  much  honour.  King  Richard  Coeur- 
de-Lion,  of  England,  when  in  Palestine,  had  at  the  siege  of  Akkon, 
or  Acre  (of  which  we  have  already  spoken)  a  dispute  with  Duke 
Leopold  of  Austria;  inasmuch  as  the  Germans,  after  the  city  was 
taken,  being  encamped  in  one  of  its  quarters,  Duke  Leopold  caused 
the  German  banner  to  be  raised  accordingly  upon  a  tower,  similar 
to  the  Kings  of  England  and  France.  But  the  proud  Richard  of 
England  caused  it  to  be  torn  down,  and  it  was  trampled  in  the  mud 
by  the  English.  This  was  an  affront  to  the  whole  German  army,  and 
certainly  deserved  immediate  and  severe  punishment.  But  the  revenge 
which  the  duke  and  the  emperor  Henry  took  afterwards  upon  the  king 
was  of  the  most  treacherous  and  ignoble  character.  Richard,  namely, 
upon  his  return  from  Palestine  in  1192,  was  cast  by  a  storm  upon 
the  Italian  coast,  near  Aquileja,  and  wished  to  continue  his  route 
through  Germany ;  but,  although  he  had  disguised  himself  as  a  pil- 
grim, he  was  recognised  in  Vienna  by  his  expensive  style  of  living, 
and  by  the  imprudence  of  his  servant.  He  was  seized  and  delivered 
up  to  Duke  Leopold,  who  had  previously  returned,  and  by  whom  he 
was  surrendered  to  the  Emperor  Henry.  The  noble  chivalric  King 
of  England,  and  brother-in-law  of  Henry  the  Lion,  was  now  detained 
at  Trifels,  in  close  confinement,  above  a  year,  until  he  was  formally 
brought  before  the  assembly  of  German  princes  at  Hagenau,  as  a 
criminal,  and  had  defended  himself;  nor  was  he  liberated  and  allowed 
to  return  to  his  kingdom  until  the  English  had  paid  a  ransom  of  a 
million  of  dollars — for  that  period  an  immense  sum.  In  thus  proceed- 


ing  against  Richard,  Henry  had,  it  is  true,  acted  in  conformity  with, 
the  ancient  right  of  the  imperial  dignity,  according  to  which  the 
emperor  was  authorised  to  cite  before  him  all  the  kings  of  Christ- 
endom, and  sit  in  judgment  over  them.  But  the  manner  in  which  he 
acted  in  this  case  was  degrading,  and  unworthy  of  any  ruling  power. 

The  emperor  concluded  with  Henry  the  Lion,  who  after  his  return 
from  England  had  produced  fresh  wars,  a  permanent  treaty  of  peace, 
and  by  the  marriage  which  took  place  between  the  duke's  son,  Henry 
the  Slender,  and  Agnes,  princess  palatine,  and  niece  of  Frederick  I., 
the  reconciliation  of  these  two  distinguished  houses  was  confirmed. 

The  principal  aim  now  of  the  Emperor  Henry,  beyond  every  thing 
else,  was  to  secure  to  his  house  Naples  and  Sicily,  the  inheritance 
of  his  consort  Constanza;  but  the  avarice  and  cruelty  with  which  he 
acted  in  his  endeavours  to  gain  his  object  soon  indisposed  and  ren- 
dered the  feelings  of  his  new  subjects  more  and  more  adverse  towards 
him,  and  increased  their  hatred  against  the  Germans.  For  he  not 
only  conveyed  away  the  gold  and  silver,  together  with  all  the  costly 
ornaments  of  the  ancient  Norman  kings,  to  such  an  extent  that  one 
hundred  and  sixty  animals  were  loaded  therewith,  and  proceeded  with 
them  to  the  castle  of  Trifels  on  the  Rhine,  but  he  caused  the  eyes  of  the 
grandees  who  had  rebelled  to  be  put  out,  and  as  an  insult  to  their  mis- 
fortunes, and  in  mockery  of  their  efforts  to  get  possession  of  the  throne 
and  wear  the  crown,  he  placed  them  upon  seats  of  red-hot  iron,  and  fas- 
tened upon  their  heads  crowns  formed  equally  of  burning  iron.  The 
rest  of  their  accomplices  were,  it  is  true,  so  much  terrified  thereby, 
that  they  vowed  allegiance ;  but  this  submission  did  not  come  from, 
their  hearts,  and  Henry's  successors  paid  severely  for  his  cruelties. 

He  meditated  the  most  important  plans,  which,  had  they  been 
accomplished,  would  have  given  to  the  whole  empire  a  completely 
different  form.  Among  the  rest,  he  offered  to  the  German  princes  to 
render  their  fiefs  hereditary,  promised  to  renounce  all  imperial  claims 
to  the  property  left  by  bishops  and  the  rest  of  the  clergy;  in  return 
for  which,  however,  he  desired  the  imperial  throne  to  be  made  likewise 
hereditary  in  his  family.  He  even  promised  to  unite  Naples  and  Sicily 
wholly  with  the  empire.  Many  princes  voluntarily  agreed  to  these  pro- 
positions, which  appeared  advantageous  to  them ;  some  of  the  greater 
ones,  however,  refused,  and  as  the  pope  likewise  withheld  his  consent, 
Henry  was  obliged  to  defer  the  execution  of  his  great  projects  to  a  more 
convenient  time.  Affairs  now  called  him  again  to  Sicily,  and  there 
he  died  suddenly  in  1197,  in  the  33d  year  of  his  age,  and  at  the 
moment  when  he  contemplated  the  conquest  of  the  Greek  empire,  by 
which  to  prepare  and  secure  a  successful  issue  to  the  crusades.* 

His  son  Frederick  was  but  just  eight  years  old,  and  the  two  parties  in 
Germany,  the  Hohenstaufens  and  the  Guelfs,  became  again  so  strongly 
divided,  that  the  one  side  chose  as  emperor  Phillip,  Henry's  brother, 

*  Henry's  tomb,  at  Palermo,  was  opened  after  nearly  600  years,  and  the  body 
found  well  preserved.  In  the  features  of  the  face,  the  expression  of  imperious  pride 
and  despotic  cruelty  were  still  to  be  recognised. 


and  the  other  Otho,  the  second  son  of  Henry  the  Lion,  a  prince  distin- 
guished for  his  strength  and  valour,  and  thus  Germany  had  again  two 
sovereigns  at  once. 

Through  this  unfortunate  division  of  parties  the  empire  became  for 
the  space  of  more  than  ten  years  the  scene  of  devastation,  robbery,  and 
murder,  and  both  princes,  who  were  equally  endowed  with  good  quali- 
ties, could  do  nothing  for  the  country ;  on  the  contrary,  in  the  endea- 
vours made  by  each  to  gain  over  the  pope  to  himself,  they  yielded  to 
the  subtle  Innocent  III.,  under  whom  the  papacy  attained  its  highest 
grade  of  power,  many  of  their  privileges.  Otho  IV.  even  acknowledged 
the  pope's  claim  of  authority  to  bestow  the  empire  as  he  might  appoint, 
and  called  himself  in  his  letters  to  the  pope  a  Roman  king  by  the 
grace  of  God  and  the  pope.  For  which  concession,  and  because  he 
was  a  Guelf,  Innocent  protected  him  with  all  his  power,  and  when 
Phillip  in  1208  was  assassinated  at  Bamberg  by  Otho  of  Wittelsbach, 
(a  nephew  of  him  to  whom  Frederick  I.  had  given  the  duchy  of 
Bavaria)  in  revenge  because  he  would  not  give  him  his  daughter  in 
marriage  as  he  had  promised,  Otho  IV.  was  universally  acknowledged 
as  emperor,  and  solemnly  crowned  at  Rome.  His  friendship  with 
the  pope,  however,  did  not  last  long,  for  Otho  saw  that  he  had  gone 
too  far  in  his  submission,  and  ought  not  to  sacrifice  for  his  private 
interest  all  the  privileges  of  the  empire.  The  pontiff,  therefore,  op- 
posed to  him  as  king,  the  youthful  Frederick,  the  son  of  Henry  VI., 
who  had  meanwhile  grown  up  in  Sicily,  and  whose  guardian  he  be- 
came after  the  death  of  his  mother  Constanza.  Frederick  soon  gained 
adherents,  and  was  crowned  at  Aix-la-Chapelle  in  1215,  and  Otho 
lived  henceforward  deserted  and  inactive  on  his  patrimonial  lands 
until  he  died  in  1218. 

The  Emperor  Frederick  II.,  the  grandson  of  Frederick  I.,  by  his  he- 
roism, firmness  of  will,  and  boldness  of  spirit,  and  combining  with  this 
majesty  of  character  both  mildness  and  grace,  was  worthy  of  his  noble 
family,  so  that  the  impression  of  his  personal  greatness  remained  long 
after  his  demise.  In  addition  to  which,  he  was  a  friend  of  art  and 
science,  and  was  himself  a  poet :  sentiment,  animation,  and  euphony 
breathing  in  all  his  works.  His  bold  and  searching  glance  dwelt 
especially  upon  the  follies  of  his  age,  and  he  frequently  lashed  them 
with  bitter  ridicule,  whilst,  011  the  contrary,  he  saw  in  every  one, 
whence  or  of  whatsoever  faith  he  might  be,  merely  the  man,  and 
honoured  him  as  such  if  he  found  him  so  worthy. 

And  yet  this  emperor  executed  but  little  that  was  great;  his  best 
powers  were  consumed  in  the  renewed  contest  between  the  imperial 
and  papal  authority  which  never  had  more  ruinous  consequences 
than  under  his  reign,  and  Germany  in  particular  found  but  little 
reason  to  rejoice  in  its  sovereign,  for  his  views  even  beyond  all  the 
other  Hohenstaufens,  were  directed  to  Italy.  By  birth  and  educa- 
tion more  an  Italian  than  a  German,  he  was  particularly  attached  to 
his  beautiful  inheritance  of  the  Two  Sicilies,  and  in  Germany,  thus 
neglected,  the  irresponsible  dominion  of  the  vassals  took  still  deeper 


root,  whilst,  on  the  other  hand,  in  France  the  royal  power,  by  with- 
drawing considerable  fiefs,  commenced  preparing  its  victory  over  the 
feudal  system. 

There  were  also  three  grand  causes  which  served  to  excite  the  popes 
against  Frederick.  In  the  first  place,  they  could  not  endure  that, 
besides  northern  Italy,  he  should  possess  Sicily  and  Naples,  and  was 
thus  enabled  to  press  upon  their  state  from  two  sides ;  secondly,  they 
were  indignant  because  he  would  not  yield  to  them,  unconditionally, 
the  great  privileges  which  the  weak  Otho  IV.  had  ceded  to  them ; 
but,  thirdly,  what  most  excited  their  anger  was,  that,  in  the  heat  of 
their  dispute,  he  frequently  turned  the  sharpness  of  his  sarcasm 
against  them,  and  endeavoured  to  make  them  both  ridiculous  and 

The  commencement  of  the  schism,  however,  arose  from  a  par- 
ticular circumstance.  Frederick,  at  his  coronation,  in  Aix-la-Cha- 
pelle,  had  spontaneously  engaged  to  undertake  a  crusade  for  the 
deliverance  of  Jerusalem,  and  this  promise  he  renewed  when  he  was 
crowned  emperor  at  Rome,  in  1220.  But  he  now  found  in  his 
Italian  inheritance,  as  well  as  in  the  opposition  shown  by  the  Lom- 
bard cities,  which,  after  the  death  of  Frederick  I.,  had  again  become 
arrogant,  so  much  to  do  that  he  was  continually  obliged  to  require 
from  the  pope  renewed  delays.  The  peaceful  and  just  Honorius  III. 
granted  them  to  him ;  and  there  existed  between  him  and  the  em- 
peror a  friendly  feeling,  and  even  a  mutual  feeling  of  respect.  But 
with  the  passionate  Gregory  IX.,  the  old  dispute  between  the  spi- 
ritual and  temporal  power  soon  again  broke  forth,  and  Gregory 
strongly  urged  the  crusade.  In  the  year  122 7, Frederick  actually  sailed 
with  a  fleet,  but  returned  after  a  few  days,  under  the  pretext  of  ill- 
ness, and  the  whole  expedition  ending  in  nothing,  Gregory  became 
irritated,  and  without  listening  to  or  admitting  even  the  emperor's 
excuses,  excommunicated  him,  for  he  maintained  his  sickness  was  a 
fiction.  To  contradict  these  charges  by  facts,  the  emperor  actually 
went  the  ensuing  year  to  Palestine.  But  upon  this  the  pope  cen- 
sured him,  even  more  strongly  than  before,  declaring  any  one, 
under  excommunication,  to  be  an  unfit  instrument  for  the  service  of 
God.  And  in  order  that  Frederick  might  accomplish  nothing  great 
in  the  holy  land,  he  sent  thither  commands,  that  neither  the  clergy 
there,  nor  the  orders  of  knighthood,  should  have  community  with 
him :  nay,  he  himself  even  caused  his  troops  to  make  an  incursion 
into  Frederick's  Italian  lands,  and  conquered  a  portion  of  Apulia. 

But  Frederick,  in  the  meantime,  speedily  brought  the  war  in  Pales- 
tine to  a  successful  termination.  The  Sultan  of  Egypt,  at  Kameel, 
partly  through  the  great  fame  which  the  imperial  sovereignty  enjoyed 
in  the  east,  and  partly  from  personal  esteem  for  Frederick(but  weakened 
principally  by  family  dissensions),  concluded  with  him  a  truce  for 
ten  years,  and  gave  up  Jerusalem,  Bethlehem,  and  Nazareth.  The 
emperor  then  entered  the  holy  city,  and  visited  the  grave,  but  the 
patriarchs  of  Jerusalem  and  the  priests,  obedient  to  the  commands 
of  the  pope,  would  celebrate  no  religious  service  in  his  presence. 


Notwithstanding  which,  he  performed  his  devotions,  and  in  the  pre- 
sence of  his  nobles,  crowned  himself  with  the  crown  of  the  kings  of 
Jerusalem;  a  right  he  had  acquired  by  his  marriage  with  lolontha, 
the  daughter  of  King  John,  of  Jerusalem  ;*  after  which  he  returned 
quickly  to  Italy.  His  presence  speedily  repaired  all  that  was  lost, 
and  the  pope  saw  himself  obliged,  in  1230,  to  conclude  a  peace  and 
remove  the  ban. 

A  tranquil  moment  seemed  now  to  present  itself  in  Frederick's 
life,  but  fate  attacked  him  from  another  side.  His  own  son,  Henry, 
whom  he  had  left  in  Germany,  as  imperial  viceroy,  rebelled  against 
him,  excited,  probably,  by  ambition  and  evil  counsellors.  After 
fifteen  years  absence,  Frederick  returned  to  Germany,  and  with  a 
bleeding  heart  he  was  obliged  to  overpower  his  own  son  by  force, 
take  him  prisoner,  and  place  him  in  confinement  in  Apulia,  where, 
seven  years  afterwards,  he  died. 

Upon  this  occasion,  Frederick  also  held,  in  1235,  a  grand  diet  at 
Mentz,  where  64  princes,  and  about  12,000  nobles  and  knights 
were  present.  Here  written  laws  were  made  relative  to  the  peace 
of  the  country,  and  other  regulations  adopted,  which  showed  the  em- 
pire the  prudence  of  its  emperor.  Before  the  diet  assembled,  he  cele- 
brated, at  Worms,  his  espousal  with  his  second  consort,  the  English 
princess,  Isabella.  The  imperial  bride  was  received  upon  the  fron- 
tiers by  a  splendid  suite  of  nobles  and  knights;  in  all  the  cities 
through  which  she  passed,  the  clergy  met  her,  accompanied  by 
choirs  of  sacred  music,  and  the  cheerful  peals  of  the  church-bells ;  and 
in  Cologne,  the  streets  of  which  were  superbly  decorated,  she  was 
received  by  ten  thousand  citizens  on  horseback,  in  rich  clothing  and 
arms.  Carriages  with  organs,  in  the  form  of  ships,  their  wheels  and 
horses  concealed  by  purple  coverings,  caused  an  harmonious  music  to 
resound,  and  throughout  the  whole  night  choirs  of  maidens  sere- 
naded beneath  the  windows  of  the  emperor's  bride.  At  the 
marriage  in  Worms,  four  kings,  eleven  dukes,  and  thirty  counts  and 
margraves  were  present.  Frederick  made  the  most  costly  presents 
to  the  English  ambassador;  and,  among  the  rest,  he  sent  rich  gifts 
of  curiosities  from  the  east  to  the  King  of  England,  as  well  as  three 
leopards,  the  leopards  being  included  in  the  English  coat  of  arms. 

From  these  peaceful  occupations,  Frederick  was  obliged  to  turn,  in 
the  following  year,  to  more  serious  affairs  in  Italy,  where  the  Lombard 
cities  more  especially  claimed  his  presence,  they  having  renewed  their 
ancient  alliance  amongst  themselves  and  refusing  to  yield  to  him  the 
obedience  he  required  as  emperor.  With  the  assistance  of  his  valiant 
leader,  the  knight  Ezzelin  de  Romano,  he  conquered  several  of  the 
allied  "cities,  and  so  beat  the  Milanese  in  1237,  at  Cortenuova, 
that  they  would  willingly  have  humbled  themselves,  if  he  had 
granted  only  moderate  conditions.  But,  unwarned  by  the  example 
of  his  grandfather,  he  required  them  to  submit  at  discretion :  whilst 

*  The  Kings  of  Naples  and  Sicily  inherited  the  title  of  King  of  Jerusalem  from 


the  citizens,  remembering  earlier  times,  preferred  dying  under  their 
shields,  rather,  they  said,  than  by  the  rope,  famine,  or  fire,  and 
from  this  period  commenced  in  reality  the  misfortunes  of  Frederick's 
life.  According  to  the  statement  made  by  one  of  our  writers,  "  he 
lost  the  favour  of  many  men  by  his  implacable  severity."  His  old 
enemy  also,  Gregory  IX.,  rose  up  again  against  him,  joined  hence- 
forth the  confederation  of  the  cities,  and  excommunicated  him  a 
second  time.  Indeed,  the  enmity  of  both  parties  went  so  far,  and  de- 
generated so  much  into  personal  animosity,  that  the  pope  comparing 
the  emperor,  in  a  letter  to  the  other  princes,  "  to  that  Apocalyptic 
monster  rising  from  the  sea,  which  was  full  of  blasphemous  names,  and 
in  colour  chequered  like  a  leopard,"  Frederick  immediately  replied 
with  another  passage  from  Scripture:  ''Another  red  horse  arose 
from  the  sea,  and  he  who  sat  thereon  took  peace  from  the  earth,  so 
that  the  living  should  kill  each  other." 

But  in  that  age  there  existed  one  great  authority  which  operated 
powerfully  on  the  side  of  the  pope,  and  fought  against  Frederick — 
this  was  the  power  of  public  opinion.  The  pope  now  cast  upon  the 
emperor  the  heavy  charge  that  he  was  a  despiser  of  religion  and  of  the 
holy  church,  and  was  inclined  to  the  infidelity  of  the  Saracens  (the 
fact  that  Frederick  had  employed,  in  the  war  with  the  Lombardians, 
10,000  Saracens,  appeared  to  justify  this  charge),  and  although  the 
emperor  several  times,  both  verbally  and  in  writing,  solemnly  de- 
clared that  he  was  a  true  Christian,  and  as  such  wished  to  live  and 
die :  nay,  although  he  was  formally  examined  in  religion  by  several 
bishops,  and  caused  a  testimony  of  his  orthodoxy  to  be  published, 
this  accusation  of  the  pope  still  found  belief  amongst  most  men.  In 
addition  to  which,  Frederick's  rash  and  capricious  wit  had  too  often 
thoughtlessly  attacked  sacred  subjects;  whilst  his  life  also  was  not 
pure  and  blameless,  but  stained  with  the  excesses  of  sensuality.  Ac- 
cordingly he  sank  more  and  more  in  general  estimation,  and  it  was 
this  that  embittered  the  latter  period  of  his  life,  and  at  length  en- 
tirely consumed  him  with  vexation. 

Gregory  IX.,  who  died  in  1241,  nearly  one  hundred  years  old, 
was  succeeded  by  Innocent  IV.,  who  was  a  still  more  violent  enemy 
of  the  emperor  than  even  Gregory  had  been.  As  Frederick  still 
continued  to  be  powerful  in  Italy,  and  threatened  him  even  in  Rome 
itself,  the  pope  retired  to  Genoa,  and  from  thence  to  Lyons,  in 
France.  There  he  renewed,  in  1245,  in  a  large  council,  the  ban 
against  the  emperor,  although  the  latter  offered  himself  in  peace  and 
friendship,  and  was  willing  to  remove  all  points  of  complaint,  whilst, 
in  addition  to  all  this,  his  ambassador,  Thaddeus  of  Suessa,  pleaded 
most  powerfully  for  his  lord.  Indeed,  the  pope  went  so  far  as  so- 
lemnly to  pronounce  the  deposal  of  the  emperor  from  all  his  states 
and  dignities.  When  the  bull  of  excommunication  was  circulated 
in  Germany,  many  of  the  spiritual  princes  took  advantage  of  the 
excitement  produced  thereby,  and  elected,  in  1246,  at  Wiirzburg, 
the  landgrave,  Henry  Raspe,  of  Thuringia,  as  rival  emperor.  The 


latter,  however,  could  gain  no  absolute  authority,  and  died  the  fol- 
lowing year.  As  Frederick,  however,  still  remained  in  Italy,  en- 
tangled in  constant  wars,  the  ecclesiastical  princes  elected  another 
sovereign,  Count  William  of  Holland,  a  youth  twenty  years  of  age, 
who,  in  order  that  he  might  become  the  head  of  the  order  of 
knighthood,  was  forthwith  solemnly  promoted  from  his  inferior  rank 
of  squire  to  that  of  a  knight.  The  greatest  confusion  now  existed 
in  Germany,  as  well  as  in  Italy.  "  After  the  Emperor  Frederick 
was  excommunicated,"  says  an  ancient  historian,  "  the  robbers  con- 
gratulated themselves,  and  rejoiced  at  the  opportunities  for  pillage 
now  presented  to  them.  The  ploughshares  were  transformed  into 
swords,  and  the  scythes  into  lances.  Every  one  supplied  himself 
with  steel  and  flint,  in  order  to  be  able  to  produce  fire  and  spread 
incendiarism  instantly." 

In  Italy,  the  war  continued  uninterruptedly  and  without  any  deci- 
sive result,  especially  with  the  Lombardian  cities.  The  imperial  arms 
were  often  successful,  but  the  spirit  of  the  emperor  was  bowed  down, 
and  at  last  his  good  fortune  occasionally  deserted  him.  In  the  year 
1249,  his  own  son,  Enzius,  whom  he  had  made  King  of  Sicily,  and  of 
all  his  sons  the  most  chivalric  and  handsome,  was  taken  prisoner  by 
the  Bolognese  in  an  unsuccessful  combat  near  Fossalta.  The  irritated 
citizens  refused  all  offers  of  ransom  for  the  emperor's  son,  and  con- 
demned him  to  perpetual  imprisonment,  in  which  he  continued  for 
two-and- twenty  years,  and  survived  all  the  sons  and  grandsons  of 
Frederick,  who  perished  every  one  by  poison,  the  sword,  and  the  axe 
of  the  executioner. 

Exclusive  of  the  bitter  grief  caused  by  his  son's  misfortune,  the 
emperor,  in  his  last  years,  was  afflicted  with  the  additional  pain  and 
mortification  at  finding  his  long-tried  friend  and  chancellor,  Petrus 
de  Vincis,  to  whom  he  had  confided  the  most  important  affairs  of 
his  empire,  charged  with  the  crime  of  attempting  to  take  the  life  of 
his  master  by  poison.  Matthieu  of  Paris,  at  least,  relates  as  certain, 
that  the  physician  de  Vincis  handed  to  the  emperor  a  poisonous 
beverage  as  a  medicine,  but  which  the  latter,  having  had  his  sus- 
picions excited,  did  not  drink.  The  chancellor  was  thrown  into 
prison,  and  deprived  of  his  eyesight,  where  he  committed  suicide  by 
dashing  his  head  against  the  wall.  Whether  de  Vincis  was  guilty, 
or  whether  appearances  were  alone  against  him  which  he  could  not 
remove,  is  not  to  be  decided,  owing  to  the  insufficiency  of  the  infor- 
mation handed  down  to  us.  The  emperor,  however,  did  not  long 
survive  this  painful  event;  he  died  in  1250,  in  the  arms  of  his  son, 
Manfred,  at  the  castle  of  Fiorentino  or  Firenzuolo,  in  the  fifty-sixth 
year  of  his  age. 

If  after  contemplating  the  stormy  phases  which  convulsed  this  em- 
peror's life,  we  turn  our  observation  to  his  noble  qualities,  his  acute  and 
sensitive  feeling  for  all  that  was  beautiful  and  grand,  and,  above  all,  to 
what  he  did  for  science  and  enlightenment  generally  in  Naples,  his 
hereditary  land,  we  feel  penetrated  with  profound  regret  when  we 


find  that  all  this,  like  a  transitory  apparition,  passed  away  without 
any  lasting  trace;  but  more  especially  are  we  pained  to  witness  how 
he  neglected  to  reign  with  affection  and  devotion  over  his  German 
subjects.  Since  Charlemagne  and  Alfred  of  England,  no  potentate 
had  existed  who  loved  and  promoted  civilization,  in  its  broadest 
sense,  so  much  as  Frederick  II.  At  his  court  the  same  as  at  that 
of  Charlemagne,  were  assembled  the  noblest  and  most  intellectual 
minds  of  that  age;  through  them  he  caused  a  multitude  of  Greek 
works,  and  in  particular  those  of  Aristotle,  to  be  translated  from 
the  Arabic  into  Latin.  He  collected,  for  that  period,  a  very  consider- 
able library,  partly  by  researches  made  in  his  own  states,  partly  during 
his  stay  in  Syria,  and  through  his  alliance  with  the  Arab  princes. 
Besides,  he  did  not  retain  these  treasures  jealously  and  covetously 
for  himself,  but  imparted  them  to  others;  as,  for  instance,  he  pre- 
sented the  works  of  Aristotle  to  the  University  of  Bologna,  although 
that  city  was  inimically  disposed  towards  him,  to  which  he  added 
the  following  address :  "  Science  must  go  hand  in  hand  with  govern- 
ment, legislation,  and.  the  pursuits  of  war,  because  these,  otherwise 
subjected  to  the  allurements  of  the  world  and  to  ignorance,  either 
sink  into  indolence,  or  else,  if  unchecked,  stray  beyond  all  sanc- 
tioned limits.  Wherefore,  from  youth  upwards,  we  have  sought 
and  loved  science,  whereby  the  soul  of  man  becomes  enlightened 
and  strengthened,  and  without  which  his  life  is  deprived  of  all  regu- 
lation and  innate  freedom.  Now  that  the  noble  possession  of  science 
is  not  diminished  by  being  imparted,  but,  on  the  contrary,  grows 
thereby  still  more  fruitful,  we  accordingly  will  not  conceal  the  pro- 
duce of  much  exertion,  but  will  only  consider  our  own  possessions 
as  truly  delightful  when  we  shall  have  imparted  so  great  a  benefit 
to  others.  But  none  have  a  greater  right  to  them  than  those  great 
men,  who,  from  the  original  ancient  and  rich  sources,  have  derived 
new  streams,  and  thereby  supply  the  thirsty  with  a  sweet  and  healthy 
refreshment.  Wherefore,  receive  these  works  as  a  present  from  your 
friend,  the  emperor,"  &c. 

A  splendid  monument  of  his  noble  mind  and  genius  is  presented  in 
his  code  of  laws  for  his  hereditary  kingdom  of  Naples  and  Sicily,  and 
which  he  caused  to  be  composed  chiefly  by  Peter  de  Vincis.  Ac- 
cording to  the  plan  of  a  truly  great  legislator,  he  was  not  influenced 
by  the  idea  of  creating  something  entirely  new,  but  he  built  upon 
the  basis  of  what  already  existed,  adapted  whatsoever  to  him  ap- 
peared good  and  necessary  for  his  main  object,  and  so  formed  a 
work  which  gave  him  as  ruler  the  necessary  power  to  establish  a 
firm  foundation  for  the  welfare  of  his  people.  Unfortunately,  the 
convulsions  of  his  later  reign  and  the  following  periods,  never  al- 
lowed this  grand  work  to  develope  its  results  entirely. 

Frederick  himself  possessed  a  knowledge  unusual,  and  acquired 
by  few  men  of  his  time.  He  understood  Greek,  Latin,  Italian, 
French,  German,  and  Arabic.  Amongst  the  sciences,  he  loved 
chiefly  natural  history,  and  proved  himself  a  master  in  that  science 


by  a  work  he  composed  upon  the  art  of  hawking ;  for  it  not  only 
displays  the  most  perfect  and  thorough  investigation  in  the  mode  of 
life,  nourishment,  diseases,  and  the  whole  nature  of  those  birds,  but 
dwells  also  upon  their  construction  generally,  both  internally  and  ex- 
ternally. This  desire  after  a  fundamental  knowledge  in  natural  science 
had  the  happiest  influence,  especially  upon  the  medical  sciences. 
Physicians  were  obliged  to  study  anatomy  before  every  thing  else ; 
they  were  referred  to  the  enthusiastic  application  of  Hippocrates  and 
Galen,  and  not  allowed  to  practice  their  profession  until  they  had 
received  from  the  board  of  faculty  at  Salerno  or  Naples,  a  satisfactory 
and  honourable  certificate;  besides  which,  they  were  obliged  to  pass 
an  examination  before  the  imperial  chamber,  formed  of  a  committee 
of  competent  members  in  the  science. 

The  emperor  founded  the  University  of  Naples  in  1224,  and  he 
considerably  improved  and  enlarged  the  medical  school  at  Salerno. 
At  both  places  also,  through  his  zeal,  were  formed  the  first  collections 
of  art,  which,  unfortunately,  in  the  tumults  of  the  following  ages, 
were  eventually  destroyed.* 

Of  Frederick  II.  it  is  related,  as  was  already  stated  of  Charle- 
magne, that  the  eastern  princes  emulated  each  other  in  sending  him 
artistical  works  as  signs  of  friendship.  Amongst  the  rest,  the  Sul- 
tan of  Egypt  presented  him  with  an  extraordinary  tent.  The  sun 
and  moon  revolved,  moved  by  invisible  agents,  and  showed  the 
hours  of  the  day  and  night  in  just  and  exact  relation. 

At  the  court  of  the  emperor,  there  were  often  contests  in  science 
and  art,  and  victorious  wreaths  bestowed,  in  which  scenes  Frederick 
shone  as  a  poet,  and  invented  and  practised  many  difficult  measures 
of  verse.  His  chief  judge,  Peter  de  Vincis,  the  composer  of  the 
code  of  laws,  wrote  also  the  first  sonnet  extant  in  Italian.  Minds, 
in  fact,  developed  themselves,  and  were  in  full  action  in  the  vicinity 
and  presence  of  the  great  emperor,  and  there  they  commanded  full 
scope  for  all  their  powers. 

His  own  personal  merit  was  so  distinguished  and  universally  re- 
cognised, that  he  was  enabled  to  collect  around  him  the  most  cele- 
brated men  of  the  age  without  feeling  any  jealousy  towards  them— 
always  a  proof  of  true  greatness.  His  most  violent  enemies  even 
could  not  withhold  from  him  their  admiration  of  his  great  qualities. 
His  exterior  was  also  both  commanding  and  prepossessing.  Like 
his  grandfather  he  was  fair,  but  not  so  tall,  although  well  and  strongly 
formed,  and  very  skilful  in  all  warlike  and  corporeal  exercises.  His 
forehead,  nose,  and  mouth  bore  the  impression  of  that  delicate  and 
yet  firm  character  which  we  admire  in  the  works  of  the  Greeks,  and 

*  On  the  bridge  across  the  Vulturnus,  in  Capua,  was  erected  a  statue  of  the  Em- 
peror Frederick  II.,  with  several  others,  arid  it  continued  there  in  a  very  good  state 
of  preservation  until  the  most  recent  wars  of  modern  times,  when  it  became  a  prey 
to  the  devastation  committed.  The  head  of  the  emperor  on  this  statue,  however, 
has  been  copied  and  engraved  upon  a  ring;  and  it  is  after  that,  that  the  excellent 
portrait  of  Frederick  has  been  drawn  in  the  History  of  the  Hohenstaufens,  by  M. 
F.  de  Raumer. 


name  after  them ;  and  his  eye  generally  expressed  the  most  serene 
cheerfulness,  but  on  important  and  serious  occasions  it  indicated 
gravity  and  severity.  Thus,  in  general,  the  happy  conjunction  of 
mildness  with  seriousness  was,  throughout  his  life,  the  distinguishing 
feature  of  this  emperor.  His  death  produced  great  confusion  in 
Italy,  and  still  greater  dissension  in  Germany.  In  the  latter  country 
two  emperors  again  stood  opposed  to  each  other,  throne  against 
throne :  the  Hohenstaufen  party  acknowledging  and  upholding  Con- 
rad, Frederick's  son,  in  opposition  to  William  of  Holland,  the  former 
having  already,  during  his  father's  life,  been  elected  King  of  the 

But  before  we  relate  the  history  of  these  two  rival  emperprs,  it 
will  be  useful  and  interesting  to  cast  our  glance  at  the  countries  in 
the  east  and  north-eastern  parts  of  Germany. 

Europe  was  about  this  time  threatened  by  a  terrible  enemy  from  the 
east,  equally  as  dreadful  as  the  Hunns  were  in  earlier  times.  This 
enemy  consisted  of  the  Mongolians,  who  ever  since  the  year  1206, 
under  Dschinges-Khan,  had  continued  to  ravage  Asia,  and  led  by 
him  had  advanced  as  far  as  Moravia  and  Silesia.  In  the  year  1241 
they  gained  a  great  battle  near  Liegnitz  over  the  Silesians,  under  the 
command  of  Henry  II.  of  Liegnitz,  who  himself  fell  chivalrously 
fighting  at  the  head  of  his  troops ;  but  by  the  valour  with  which  he 
disputed  the  victory  with  the  enemy,  he  destroyed  the  desire  they 
had  previously  indulged  in  of  penetrating  farther  westward,  as  they 
now  turned  towards  Hungary.  Thus,  by  his  own  death,  Henry  the 
Pious,  saved  Europe;  and  indeed,  upon  the  same  spot  (Wahlstadt) 
where,  on  the  26th  of  August,  1813,  the  action  called  the  battle  of 
Katzbach  was  so  victoriously  fought. 

In  this  emergency  Frederick  well  felt  what  his  duty  was  as  first 
Christian  prince,  and  very  urgently  pressed  the  other  kings  for  their 
immediate  assistance  against  the  common  enemy;  but  at  this  mo- 
ment the  general  disorder  was  too  great,  and  his  appeal  for  aid  re- 
mained without  any  effect.  As  regards  Silesia  and  Hungary  the 
incursion  of  the  Mongolians  produced  this  result,  that  many  German 
peasants  migrated  to  the  deserted  and  depopulated  districts,  and 
henceforward  Lower  Silesia  became,  indeed,  more  a  German  than 
Slavonic  country.  Other  neighbouring  countries  also  were  about  this 
period  occupied  and  populated  by  the  Germans,  consisting  of  the  coasts 
of  the  Baltic,  Prussia,  Livonia,  Esthland,  andCourland.  As  early  as  at 
the  end  of  the  twelfth  century,  Meinhardt,  a  canon  of  the  monastery 
of  Legeberg,  built  a  church  at  Exkalle,  (in  the  vicinity  of  the  pre- 
sent Riga,)  where,  shortly  afterwards,  Pope  Clement  III.  founded  a 
bishopric,  and  from  this  central  point  the  diffusion  of  Christianity 
extended  in  that  district.  But  temporal  force  soon  mixed  itself  in 
these  spiritual  and  peaceful  exertions;  the  resistance  of  the  heathen 
Livonians  induced  Pope  Celestin  III.  to  cause  a  crusade  to  be  preached 
against  them,  and  speedily  a  multitude  of  men  from  the  north  of 
Germany  stormed  towards  these  parts.  A  spiritual  order  of  knight- 



hood  was  formed  under  the  name  of  the  knights  of  the  sword,  and 
with  the  Christian  doctrines  the  dominion  01  this  order  was  by  de- 
grees extended  over  Livonia,  Esthland,  and  Courland.  The  na- 
tives who  remained  after  the  sanguinary  battles  of  this  exterminating 
war  were  reduced  to  oppressive  slavery,  which  was  for  the  first  time 
moderated  in  our  own  age  by  the  Emperor  Alexander. 

In  Prussia  also  the  sword  established  at  the  same  time  with  Chris- 
tianity the  German  dominion  and  superiority.  About  the  year  1208 
a  monk  of  the  monastery  of  Kolwitz,  in  Pomerania,  of  the  name  of 
Christian,  crossed  the  Vistula,  and  preached  Christianity  to  the  heath- 
en Prussians.  But  when  the  pope  made  him  a  bishop,  and  wished  to 
establish  a  formal  hierarchal  government,  they  rose  in  contest  against 
him,  in  which  the  knights  of  the  sword,  together  with  Duke  Henry 
the  Bearded  of  Breslau,  and  many  warriors  of  the  neighbouring  lands, 
immediately  marched  forth  and  gave  warlike  aid  to  the  new  bishop. 
But  little  was  accomplished  until  the  latter,  upon  the  advice  of  Duke 
Henry,  summoned  to  his  assistance  the  knights  of  the  Teutonic  Order, 
which  had  originated  in  an  institution  of  North  Germany.  Accord- 
ingly, in  the  year  1229,  their  first  grand  master,  Herman  Salza,  with 
not  more  than  twenty-eight  knights  and  one  hundred  squires  and  at- 
tendants, advanced  to  Prussia ;  he  proceeded  in  his  work  cautiously 
by  establishing  fortified  places,  among  which  Thorn,  on  the  Vistula, 
serving,  as  it  were,  for  the  entrance  gate  of  the  country,  was  the  first; 
and  Culm,  Marienwerder,  Elbing,  Braunsberg,  and  others  speedily 
followed.  The  dominion  of  the  Teutonic  order  was  spread  even  in 
Livonia,  as  the  knights  of  the  sword,  after  a  severe  defeat  by  the  Li- 
vonians,  in  1273,  were  received  in  it;  and  in  1255,  upon  the  advice 
of  Ottocar  of  Bohemia,  who  had  made  a  crusade  against  the  Prussians, 
in  which  Rudolphus  of  Hapsburg  joined,  the  present  metropolis  of  the 
country  was  founded,  and  in  honour  of  him  was  called  Konigsberg. 
The  cities  around,  by  their  favourable  situation  for  commerce,  soon 
flourished  again,  and  the  peasants  found  themselves  in  a  happier  situa- 
tion than  their  Livonian  neighbours,  for  their  services  and  imposts 
were  rendered  more  moderate,  and  absolute  slavery  was  only  expe- 
rienced by  a  few  individuals  as  a  punishment  for  their  defection. 

When  we  add  to  this  the  various  emigrations  which  had  commenced 
already  much  earlier,  populating  the  Vandal  countries  as  well  as  Bran- 
denburg, Mecklenburg,  and  Pomerania,  and  take  into  consideration 
the  many  flourishing  cities  which  were  built  there  by  German  citizens, 
we  may  be  inclined  to  style  the  twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries  as 
the  epoch  of  the  migration  of  Germans  towards  the  north-east,  the 
same  as  that  of  the  fourth  and  fifth  centuries  after  Christ  is  called  the 
period  of  migration  towards  the  west  and  south.  Indeed,  if  we 
reckon  the  hundreds  of  thousands  which  Germany  at  the  same 
period  sent  with  the  crusades  to  the  east,  together  with  those  sent 
with  the  Hohenstaufen  emperors  to  Italy,  we  must  really  feel  asto- 
nished at  the  population  which  that  vast  country  produced,  and  assur- 
edly cannot  join  with  many  other  historians  in  calling  a  period  pre- 


senting  like  this  so  much  vigour  and  activity  of  life  an  epoch  of 
absolute  misery,  slavitude,  and  desolation. 

Had  the  Emperor  Frederick  rightly  known  the  strength  of  Ger- 
many, and  had  he  understood  how  to  avail  himself  of  the  means 
to  render  it  still  more  powerful  by  union,  the  whole  of  the  east  and 
north  of  Europe  might  then  have  become  annexed  to  that  country. 
But  his  eyes  were  turned  exclusively  upon  Italy,  and  there  he 
fruitlessly  sacrificed  all  his  strength. 

Conrad,  meanwhile,  was  likewise  more  occupied  with  his  patrimonial 
inheritance  than  with  Germany.  He  went  as  early  as  1 25 1  to  Italy,  and 
left  his  consort  in  the  former  country  who  gave  birth  the  following  year 
to  the  unfortunate  Conradin.  Conrad,  under  the  excommunication  of 
the  pope,  like  his  father,  conquered  Naples,  it  is  true,  but  made  the  in- 
habitants his  most  implacable  enemies,  by  placing  a  bridle  upon  the 
horse,  which  stood  as  an  emblem  of  the  city  upon  the  market-place.  He 
died  shortly  after,  in  1254,  and  said  a  few  moments  before  his  death: 
"  Unhappy  being  that  I  am,  why  did  my  parents  bring  me  into  this 
world  only  to  expose  me  to  so  much  misfortune !  The  church,  which 
should  have  shown  both  me  and  my  father  a  maternal  heart,  has  be- 
come much  rather  our  step-mother ;  and  this  empire  which  flourished 
before  the  birth  of  Christ  is  now  fading  away  and  approaching  its 
destruction !"  And  in  this  he  prophesied  too  truly  with  respect  to 
his  own  race,  for  he  was  the  last  king  of  the  Hohenstaufens.  Fre- 
derick II.  had,  it  is  true,  left  behind  him  a  second  son  (Henry)  by  his 
marriage  with  Isabella,  and  a  third  (Manfred)  by  Blanca,  his  Italian 
consort,  and  two  grandsons,  the  sons  of  his  unfortunate  eldest  son 
Henry ;  but  they  all  died  in  the  flower  of  their  age,  and  about  the 
same  time:  so  that  at  the  death  of  Conrad  IV.,  there  only  remained 
of  the  whole  family  of  the  Hohenstaufens,  his  son,  the  unfortunate 
Conradin,  and  his  brother  Manfred.  We  shall  very  shortly  learn  the 
fate  of  these  two  princes. 

King  William  also  lived  but  a  few  years  after  Conrad,  and  in  so  little 
esteem,  that  a  common  citizen  of  Utrecht  cast  a  stone  at  him,  and  a 
nobleman  plundered  his  consort  upon  the  highway.  When  in  the 
winter  of  the  year  1256  he  advanced  against  the  Friesi,  and  crossed 
the  ice  near  Medenblick,  it  broke  under  him,  and  he  remained 
with  his  heavy  war-horse  sticking  in  the  morass,  where  the  Friesi 
killed  him,  although  he  offered  a  large  sum  for  his  life. 

After  his  death  the  confused  state  of  affairs  in  Germany  became 
greater  than  ever. 

Upon  the  demise  of  Conrad  IV.,  and  William  of  Holland,  no 
German  prince  would  accept  the  imperial  crown,  except,  perhaps, 
Ottocar,  King  of  Bohemia,  but  who,  however,  was  not  liked. 
Most  of  them  preferred  rather  to  occupy  themselves  in  ruling  over, 
and  extending  their  own  hereditary  lands,  than  to  take  upon  them- 
selves the  heavy  charge  of  restoring  order  and  peace  in  those  coun- 
tries of  Germany  now  become  almost  again  savage,  and  thus  renounce 
their  own  selfish  interests,  in  order  to  consecrate  all  their  powers  to 


the  common  good.  The  spiritual  electors  now  conceived  the  un- 
worthy and  degrading  idea  of  electing  a  foreigner  for  emperor. 
Still  they  were  by  no  means  unanimous  in  their  choice ;  the  one  party 
elected  an  Englishman,  Richard,  Earl  of  Cornwall,  the  brother  of  King 
Henry  III.;  the  other  chose  a  Spaniard,  Alphonso,  King  of  Castile, 
who,  on  account  of  his  knowledge  in  astronomy,  was  called  the  Sage, 
but  who  nevertheless  was  not  wise  enough  to  know  how  to  rule  even 
his  own  country.  Both  had  offered  the  imperial  princes  considerable 
sums  of  money,  and  Richard,  as  some  relate,  came  with  thirty-two 
carriages  to  Germany,  each  drawn  by  eight  horses,  together  with  an 
immense  tun  filled  with  sterlings,  an  English  coin  of  that  period. 
He  possessed  extensive  tin  mines  in  Cornwall,  then  almost  the  only 
mines  in  the  world,  whence  he  acquired  immense  riches.  With  such 
arms  as  these,  he  speedily  conquered  many  hearts,  and  was  solemnly 
crowned  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  in  1257,  after  which  he  returned  to  Eng- 
land again,  accompanied  by  several  Germans  of  high  rank.  In  Eng- 
land, however,  the  home  of  national  pride,  he  was  not  treated  other- 
wise than  any  other  English  prince  or  nobleman ;  and  this  so  much 
vexed  the  Germans  who  were  with  him,  that  they  returned  to  their 
country  discontented.  After  that,  Richard  visited  Germany  at  three 
different  times,  but  on  each  occasion  only  for  a  short  space.  Alphonso, 
however,  never  came  to  that  country  at  all.  During  this  period, 
therefore,  disorder  and  violence  necessarily  increased  from  day  to 
day,  so  that  the  petty  princes,  counts,  knights,  and  the  cities  them- 
selves, lived  in  constant  anarchy  and  warfare  with  each  other,  to  an 
extent,  that  those  who  desired  justice  and  tranquillity,  wished  most 
heartily  for  an  emperor  who  might  become  their  protection  and 

Conradin  of  Swabia,  the  son  of  the  Emperor  Conrad  IV.,  the  last 
descendant  of  the  Hohenstaufen  race,  fell  at  this  moment  a  victim 
to  the  most  cruel  fate.  He  was  styled  Conradin  by  the  Italians,  be- 
cause he  ended  his  career  at  so  early  an  age.  After  his  father's 
death,  he  had  been  brought  up  in  Bavaria,  and  afterwards  in 
Swabia,  where  he  still  retained  some  small  inheritance ;  whilst  his 
uncle  Manfred,  as  regent,  and  subsequently  as  king,  administered 
his  hereditary  estates  in  Naples  and  Sicily.  The  popes,  however, 
who  still  remained  the  irreconcileable  enemies  of  the  Hohenstaufen 
house,  sought  to  despoil  him  of  these  possessions;  and  as  they 
could  not  effect  this  by  their  own  power,  it  was  determined  by  Cle- 
ment IV.  to  bring  another  king  in  opposition  to  the  hated  Manfred. 
He  applied,  therefore,  to  Charles,  Duke  of  Anjou,  who  marched  forth 
in  1266 ;  he  was  accompanied  by  a  numerous  suite  of  French  knights, 
who  were  ever  happy  to  avail  themselves  of  any  expedition  which 
promised  them  rich  booty.  King  Manfred,  who  had  unfortunately 
lost,  in  a  storm,  the  whole  of  his  fleet,  with  which  he  had  set  sail 
in  order  to  prevent  the  French  from  landing,  was  defeated  in  an 
action  at  Benevento,  on  the  26th  of  February,  1266,  principally 
through  treachery ,  and  preferred  sacrificing  himself  by  an  heroic  death, 


rather  than  to  endure  an  ignominious  life  in  prison;  he  therefore 
rushed  into  the  midst  of  the  enemy's  ranks,  and  sank  mortally 
wounded.  His  children,  however,  were  seized  by  the  conqueror, 
and  remained  in  captivity  during  the  rest  of  their  lives. 

When  the  youthful  Conradin  now  became  older,  and  bethought 
him  of  the  lands  which  belonged  to  him,  whereof  one  city  alone 
was  richer  than  his  German  possessions  altogether,  the  bold  dispo- 
sition of  his  ancestors  awoke  within  him,  and  he  resolved  to  drive 
the  robbers  from  his  inheritance.  In  1268,  therefore,  he  went  forth, 
accompanied  by  the  faithful  friend  of  his  youth,  Prince  Frederick  of 
Baden  and  many  faithful  knights  who  followed  him  from  Germany, 
In  Italy  the  numerous  adherents  of  the  Ghibelin  party  imme- 
diately flocked  to  him ;  the  Romans  in  defiance  of  their  pope,  Cle- 
ment, who  had  called  for  the  aid  of  the  French,  led  him  in  triumph 
into  their  city,  and  he  soon  stood  opposed  to  the  enemy  with  a  strong 
army  near  Tagliacozzo  in  Lower  Italy.  In  battle,  also,  fortune  at 
first  favoured  him ;  the  enemy  was  put  to  flight,  but,  unfortunately, 
in  the  pursuit  his  own  army  got  into  disorder,  and  in  their  eagerness 
for  booty  fell  too  soon  upon  the  enemy's  camp,  for  at  that  moment 
the  French  reserve  returned  and  rushed  upon  the  plunderers.  The 
latter  were  wholly  defeated,  and  Conradin,  with  his  friend  Frederick, 
after  they  had  long  fought  most  bravely,  were  forced  to  fly  towards 
the  sea.  They  had  already  got  on  board  a  ship  at  Astura,  and  were 
just  setting  sail  for  Pisa,  when  they  were  overtaken,  made  prisoners, 
and  led  before  Charles  of  Anjou.  And  such  was  the  insolence,  per- 
fidy, and  cruelty  of  the  tyrant,  that  he  treated  Conradin  as  a  rebel 
against  himself  the  legitimate  and  true  king,  and  caused  both  the 
princes,  at  the  age  of  sixteen,  to  be  beheaded  publicly  in  the  market 
place  of  Naples  on  the  28th  of  October,  1268.* 

With  the  unfortunate  Conradin  ended  the  powerful  house  of  the 
Hohenstaufens,  and  that  was  produced  by  means  of  the  same  pos- 
sessions by  which  Frederick  I.  thought  to  elevate  it  to  the  highest 
degree  of  splendour  and  glory.  But  the  Swabian  patrimony  now 
fell  into  so  many  divisions,  that  eventually  no  territory  throughout 
Germany  was  divided  into  so  many  ownerships  as  Swabia.  As  the 
duchy  was  never  restored,  the  whole  of  its  states  henceforward 
formed  a  part  of  the  immediate  possessions  of  the  empire.  Not  only 
the  bishops,  counts,  and  superior  free  lords,  but  also  the  inferior 
ranks  of  the  nobility,  the  cities,  monasteries,  and  even  the  peasantry, 
which  had  been  previously  the  vassals  and  subjects  of  the  duke,  be- 
came now  emancipated ;  but  they  had  not  these  rights  and  privileges 
individually,  like  the  larger  imperial  lordships,  but  only  as  an  entire 
combined  body  of  the  Swabian  states,  which  they  enjoyed  as  members 

*  The  unfortunate  Conradin,  before  his  execution,  transferred  all  his  rights  to 
Manfred's  daughter,  Constanza;  and  this  princess  became  afterwards  the  avenger  of 
the  Hohenstaufens.  For,  as  the  wife  of  Peter  of  Arragon,  she  favoured  the  horrible 
conspiracy  known  under  the  name  of  the  Sicilian  Vespers,  in  the  year  1282,  by 
which  Charles  of  Anjou  lost  his  usurped  kingdom  of  Sicily, 


thereof.  The  emperor  derived  from  them  important  revenues,  and  the 
administration  of  these  imperial  possessions  was  transferred  to  senes- 
chals; so  that  instead  of  the  ancient  Swabian  dukes  there  were  only 
now  the  imperial  bailiwicks:  Helvetia  or  Switzerland,  Alsace,  and 
Swabia,  which  were  divided  into  cantons.  These  arrangements  were 
adopted  under  the  reign  of  the  succeeding  emperor,  Rudolphus. 

The  fate  of  the  duchy  of  Swabia  leads  us  naturally  to  consider  the 
circumstances  which  produced,  especially  in  the  interior  of  Germany, 
the  dismemberment  and  abolition  of  the  ancient  national  duchies. 
The  basis  for  this  important  event  was  laid,  as  we  have  already  seen, 
at  the  time  of  the  deposition  of  Henry  the  Lion,  in  the  year  1180. 
Although  the  plan  and  the  limits  of  this  general  history  of  the  em- 
pire will  not  p